BRITISH Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced England will return to a full lockdown as the country deals with a highly infectious strain of COVID-19.
The country’s nearly 56-million strong population has been ordered to stay at home until at least mid-February, with the Prime Minister announcing “now more than ever we must pull together”.
“The weeks ahead will be the hardest yet, but I really do believe we are entering the last stage of this struggle,” he said in an address from Number 10.
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The measures, which include the closure of primary and secondary schools, will come into effect Wednesday (local time).
Schools and colleges will move to remote learning from tomorrow, except for vulnerable children and those of key workers.
It means exams in the country will not go ahead as normal.
All nonessential shops and personal care services like hairdressers will be closed and restaurants can only operate takeout services.
As of Monday, there were 26,626 COVID patients in hospitals in England, an increase of more than 30 per cent from a week ago.
That is 40 per cent above the highest level of the first wave in April.
“As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from COVID than at any time since the start of the pandemic,” Mr Johnson said.