Seeing family and NCFC games - the new national lockdown rules
- Credit: PA
The prime minister has announced England will enter a national lockdown from Thursday in a bid to control rising coronavirus cases.
Boris Johnson made the speech on Saturday afternoon, after plans were leaked to the press on Friday night.
“We will get through this but we must act now to contain this autumn’s surge,” he said.
“We’re not going back to the full scale lockdown of March and April, the measures I’ve outlined are less restrictive.
“But I’m afraid from Thursday the basic message is the same: Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
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Here’s what we know so far about the lockdown.
• How long will it last?
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Mr Johnson said the lockdown will begin on Thursday, November 5 and continue until Wednesday, December 2.
At that point, regions will re-enter the tier system depending on their Covid-19 rate and other factors.
The announcement was expected to come on Monday, but has been held on Saturday following a cabinet meeting earlier in the day.
MPs will vote on the proposals on Wednesday before coming into force after midnight on Thursday.
Mr Johnson said: “Christmas is going to be different this year, perhaps very different. but it’s my sincere hope and belief that by taking tough action now we can allow families across the country to be together.”
• What will close?
The hospitality industry has been dealt another blow, with pubs, restaurants and cafés all told to close. They will be able to offer takeaways.
Non-essential retail, entertainment and leisure industries will be forced to close.
Hairdressers and beauticians will close, along with bowling alleys and entertainment venues. For the full list, click here.
For many places, including theatres, which were just beginning to get back on their feet, it will come as a significant knock.
The government has said it will restore furlough payments worth 80pc of wages for people unable to work during the second lockdown.
Places of worship will close, unless they are being used for funerals, to broadcast acts of worship, individual prayer or voluntary services (such as a food bank). Weddings are cancelled.
• What will stay open?
Unlike the spring lockdown, this time schools and universities will stay open.
Mr Johnson said childcare, early years settings, schools, colleges and universities would remain open.
He added: “We cannot let this virus damage our children’s futures even more than it has already and I urge parents to keep taking their children to school and I’m extremely grateful to teachers across the country for their dedication in enabling schools to remain open.”
He also urged people to continue to use the NHS unless they were told not to by clinicians - including attending scans, attending appointments and picking up prescriptions.
The construction and manufacturing industries will be kept open.
• When can I leave the house?
The prime minister said people should stay at home except for the in following exemptions:
• Work, if you cannot do so from home
• Medical appointments
• Shopping for food and essentials
• Caring for another person
• Escaping danger
• Can I see loved ones?
Different households will not be allowed to mix inside homes (or in private gardens), except for childcare and other forms of support.
The prime minister offered assurances to those on their own, with the rules allowing people on their own to form support bubbles.
People can meet one other person outside their household if they are outdoors, including at beaches, parks and playgrounds.
Children will be able to move between homes if their parents are separated.
Guidance on visiting loved ones in care homes will be published ahead of Thursday, the government said.
• What about work on Monday - can I go the office?
In his press conference, Mr Johnson said people would be encouraged to work from home where possible.
The government guidelines say: “To help contain the virus, everyone who can work effectively from home must do so.
“Where people cannot do so (for instance people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing) they should continue to travel to work/attend their workplace. This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting vital sectors and employers.”
The final decision on whether offices will close will rest with employers.
• I shielded last time - what about now?
Addressing older people and those with existing health issues, Mr Johnson said in his statement: “I know how tough shielding was and we will not ask people to shield again in the same way.
“But we are asking those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to minimise their contact with others and not to go to work if they are able to work from home.”
• What about my holiday?
Outbound international flights will not be allowed, unless a person is travelling for work.
Travelling within the UK will be discouraged, except for work.
Overnight stays away from home will be for work purposes only.
If you are already abroad, travellers are not required to return from holidays early.
The prime minister did not mention travel corridors, meaning people arriving from some areas are likely to continue being exempt from quarantine.
The government said: “If you need to travel we encourage you to reduce the number of journeys you make, walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel.”
• Is sport allowed?
Elite sport played behind closed doors will be allowed despite a new national lockdown, secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden has announced on Twitter.
He added: “Where [working from home] is not possible, travel to a place of work will be permitted - e.g. this includes (but not exhaustive) elite sport played behind closed doors, film & tv production, telecoms workers.”
Asked if Premier League matches would still be played, Mr Johnsons said: “I can say yes to the Premier League.
“We will get through this. But we must act now to contain this autumn surge.”
Racing will be allowed to continue behind closed doors.
Gyms will be shut but people can continue to exercise for unlimited periods outdoors, either with people from their own households or on a one-to-one basis with one person from another household.
Amateur sport is understood to have put on hold, though, it was not mentioned in the briefing.
• What has brought this on?
It has become clear in recent weeks that Covid-19 is now spreading faster than the worst predictions of scientists. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) infection survey found cases “continued to rise steeply” in the week ending October 23, with an estimated 568,100 people becoming infected.
Government scientists now believe at least 50,000 new cases of Covid-19 are occurring in England daily, and deaths could reach 500 per day within weeks.
They believe it is now too late for a two-week national circuit-breaker to have enough of an effect, that Tier 3 restrictions are not sufficient, and that a longer national lockdown is required to drive the reproduction number, or R value, of the virus below one.
The moves are also designed to address the problem of pressure on the nation’s hospitals to cope with a second wave. A recent meeting of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) found the rate of infections and hospital admissions was now “exceeding the reasonable worst case scenario planning levels”.
• What are Norfolk’s most recent coronavirus figures?
Public Health England figures for the seven days to October 26 show the number of Covid-19 cases in Breckland hit a record 200 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 104 the previous week - the seven days up to October 19.
There were 67 new positive cases recorded on October 26, taking the total number in Breckland over the previous seven days to 280.
Meanwhile, Great Yarmouth has hit a new high for the fourth day in a row with a further 36 cases pushing the town’s rate up to 162.1 per 100,000 people.
26 new cases in Norwich halts three days of falling rates and pushes the city back up to 111 cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days.
In total, the city has seen 156 new cases recorded in the seven days up to October 26, though this was slightly lower than the 162 in the previous week.
King’s Lynn and West Norfolk also saw a rise in new cases up from 37.7 per 100,000 in the week to October 19 to 68.7 in the seven days to October 26.
Just two of the nine local authority areas in Norfolk and Waveney saw falling numbers of infection rates.
North Norfolk saw cases fall to 29.6 per 100,000 in the seven days up to October 26, from 40.1 the previous week, with the total number of cases at 31, down from 42. South Norfolk recorded a drop from 58.9 to 49.7 per 100,000, with 70 new cases this week, down from 83 the previous week.
In total there were 883 positive cases across Norfolk in the week up to October 26, up from 844 the previous week. There were 167 new cases on October 26 alone.