The British government has decided to reimpose a lockdown in England from 5 November to 2 December to contain a new wave of novel Coronavirus infections that threatens to swamp hospitals there.
Announcing the lockdown at a news conference on Saturday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the virus was spreading faster than predicted under the worst-case scenario established by scientific advisors.
“It’s time to take action because there is no alternative,” Johnson stressed.
Under the lockdown, people will be allowed to leave their homes only for essential activities, such as work, shopping for basic items, medical imperatives, caring for vulnerable people, and exercise.
Schools, colleges and universities will remain open, while bars and restaurants will be closed except for takeaway services.
The announcement of the new confinement measures came as infections in the UK passed one million.
The lockdown does not affect Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, since it is up to the authorities of each British province to decide on confinement measures.