New lockdown rules to be introduced
PM Boris Johnson has announced that England will be returning to lockdown from Thursday stating now is the time to take action because there is no alternative.
In a speech to the nation tonight, the PM said we will get through this but we must act now.
He said: "If we could have got the R down in the local areas in the way we wanted to get it below 1, that would have been a great way forward, in common with other parts of Europe, we’ve seen an overall growth rate in the second wave and made it vital to act now and protect the NHS and save lives."
The new rules mean non-essential shops and hospitality will have to shut for four weeks, while schools, nurseries, colleges and universities remain open.
Takeaways will be allowed to stay open as pubs, bars and restaurants close. As well as that people can only meet one person from outside their household outdoors. Although support bubbles will still be allowed and children will be able to move homes if their parents are separated.
The Prime Minister said: "For education; For work, say if you cannot work from home; For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household or on your own with one person from another household; For medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm; To shop for food and essentials; And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.
"I’m afraid non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will all be closed – though click and collect services can continue and essential shops will remain open, so there is no need to stock up.
"Workplaces should stay open where people can’t work from home – for example in the construction or manufacturing sectors."
Boris explained that single adult households can still form exclusive support bubbles with one other household, and children will still be able to move between homes if their parents are separated.
The lockdown is expected to last until at least Wednesday 2 December. After that point the PM says: "We'll seek to ease restrictions, going back into the tiered system on a local and a regional basis according to the latest data and trends."
From Thursday 5 November, everyone must stay at home, and may leave only for a limited set of reasons. These include:
For work, if you cannot work from home;
For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household;
For all medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm;
To shop for food and essentials;
And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.
Speaking in relation to furlough, Boris added: “I’m under no illusions about how difficult this will be for businesses which have already had to endure such hardship this year and I’m truly, truly sorry for that – and that’s why we’re going to extend the furlough system through November.
“The furlough system was a success in the spring, it supported people in businesses in a critical time. We will not end it, we will extend furlough until December.”
A final vote will take place in Parliament on Wednesday before any new rules are introduced.