New Delhi (NVI): UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has re-imposed a stay-at-home lockdown until at least mid-February to battle through the critical moment in the coronavirus pandemic.
Addressing the country in a televised address from Downing Street on Monday night, Johnson said the UK is at a pivotal stage in its fight against the rapidly spreading infections.
He confirmed a complete shutdown of schools and businesses, similar to the very first nationwide lockdown back in March 2020.
“As I speak to you tonight our hospitals are under more pressure from Covid than at any time,” said Johnson.
“It’s clear that we need to do more together to bring this new variant under control. In England, we must therefore go into a national lockdown which is tough enough to combat this variant. That means the government is once again instructing you to stay at home,” he said.
The measures would come into effect from Wednesday. Meanwhile, Scotland has announced similar measures would come into force from midnight on Tuesday.
Some 44 million people or three-quarters of the population of England are already living under the toughest restrictions, as Britain grapples with one of the worst mortality rates from coronavirus in the world.
UK PM said that as of Monday, almost 27,000 people with Covid were in hospital — 40 per cent more than at the peak of first wave of the outbreak on April last year.
“With most of the country already under extreme measures, it’s clear that we need to do more, together, to bring this new variant under control while our vaccines are rolled out,” he said.
The new measures include the closure of schools, working from home wherever possible, limits on leaving home, except for exercise, essential shopping and for medical supplies, and no household mixing.
So far, the number of coronavirus infections in the United Kingdom has surpassed 2.7 million while the number of fatalities currently stand at 75,547 in the country.