Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced at a press conference on Saturday 31st October 2020, that England will go into a national lockdown once again, closing non essential shops, pubs, bars, restaurants, gyms and salons for an entire month. This is due to last until 2nd December, however many members of the public believe it could be longer.
The head of NHS England, Sir Simon Stevens, said there are 11,000 coronavirus patients in hospital in England – up from 2,000 at the start of October.
Sir Simon told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “So, put another way, we’ve got 22 hospitals’ worth of coronavirus patients across England.
“And indeed, even since Saturday, when the prime minister gave his press conference, we filled another two hospitals full of severely ill coronavirus patients.”
Many members of the Conservative party have criticized the lockdown, as many business will suffer and may not reopen after another lockdown. With thousands of people out of work, and many put on furlough, the government are set to pay out millions to keep workers afloat.
However, it is expected that the lockdown will go ahead despite the criticism from the Tory MPs. Labour first called for a short lockdown a month ago, and have criticized the Prime Minister and the government for not acting when the cases start to rise rapidly.
Professor Chris Whitty announced the worrying figures that are beginning to look as bad as March and April’s figures at the beginning of lockdown 1.0. Prof Whitty defended the lockdown, stating that it was the only way to subdue the spread of the Coronavirus until a vaccine is available.
More details of the second lockdown have been revealed this week, with the support grants for self employed workers and the regulatory fines that will be given out to rule breakers – which will start at £100 and potentially rise to a maximum of £6,400 for repeat offences.
Other regulations have been revealed:
- There will be an exemption allowing veterans to participate in Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day events
- People will also be allowed to visit friends or “close family members” in prison
- Visits to friends or “close family members” who are near to death will also be allowed
- There will be a 10pm curfew on restaurants to make takeaway deliveries
Once the lockdown is over, we will return to the tiered system that lasted just a few weeks before further action was taken. Boris Johnson is hoping that following a new lockdown, the pubic will be able to come out the other side and celebrate Christmas with their families, despite the terrible year of 2020.
The new lockdown will come into force at midnight tonight.