COVID-19: National Lockdown Announced By Prime Minister Including School Closures
4 January 2021, 20:13
The Prime Minister has announced a national lockdown which comes into force immediately and confirmed schools will remain closed.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a national lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19 which will come into force immediately in a television address to the nation.
The Prime Minister has announced the drastic measures to combat the sharp increase in both Coronavirus cases and deaths, saying "Our hospitals are under more pressure from covid since the start of the pandemic."
Boris Johnson said: "In England we must go into a national lockdown."
"The government is once again instructing you to stay home. You may only leave home to shop for essentials, to work if you absolutely cannot work from home, to exercise or to escape domestic abuse."
The national lockdown means everything apart from essential shops will close including schools and gyms and only key workers will be permitted to go to work.
The PM continued to say: "We now have a new variant of the virus and it's been both frustrating and alarming to see the speed with which the new variant is spreading."
He revealed deaths from the virus are up 20% in a week, are expected to rise further and the NHS is in danger of reaching a critical point.
A spokesperson for Number 10 said ahead to the 8pm address:
"The spread of the new variant of COVID-19 has led to rapidly escalating case numbers across the country."
"The prime minister is clear that further steps must now be taken to arrest this rise and to protect the NHS and save lives."
In some more positive news, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has begun to be distributed amongst the nation.