Boris Johnson announces four-week national COVID-19 lockdown in England

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Prime minister Boris Johnson on Saturday announced a fresh four-week national lockdown to be imposed across England from midnight on Thursday.

All nonessential shops, restaurants, pubs and leisure facilities will be closed for four weeks. However, unlike the first national lockdown introduced in March, schools, colleges and universities will remain open, as will childcare and early years care.

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The new regulations will be published in full on Tuesday and voted on by the MPs on Wednesday.

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“We cannot let this virus damage our children’s futures any more than it has already,” Johnson said. “we must act now to contain this autumn surge.”

He said the measures would remain in place until December 2, 2020.

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People in the United Kingdom will remain at home whenever possible and will be allowed to leave their home for education, medical appointments, to shop for essential goods, and to work if they cannot work from home.

Members of the same household will be able to take part in outdoor exercise or with one person from another household.

The exemptions to the rules will include people leaving home to care for vulnerable people or to escape injury or harm.

Households will be banned from mixing indoors, with the exception for childcare and other forms of support.

Takeaways and deliveries will continue to be allowed.

Johnson said unemployment benefits, covering 80 percent of the wages of workers who are temporarily laid off, will be extended throughout November.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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