It has now been confirmed that England will enter a national lockdown, starting from 00:01 on Thursday, November 5.
Last night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a full lockdown across England, which will last until 00:01 on Wednesday, December 2, with all but schools, universities and essential shops forced to close. Like the first lockdown in spring, the general message will be to “stay at home”, but there are some exceptions. Here’s a summary of what you can and can’t do under the new restrictions.
So what can I do?
• Go to school or university.
• Visit a place of worship for private prayer, but not for services.
• Go to work if you cannot work from home.
• Get deliveries and takeaways sent to your home.
• Visit essential shops, such as supermarkets and pharmacies.
• Attend medical visits.
• Exercise outdoors, either alone, with members of your household or with one member of another household.
• Visit another household for childcare reasons, or to care for a vulnerable person.
• Single adult households can still form exclusive support bubbles with one other household.
• Children will be allowed to see both parents, if they are separated.
What can’t I do?
• Go to work if it is possible to work from home.
• Visit non-essential shops, these include ones selling clothing, tobacco, footwear and electronics, as well as vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, and vape shops.
• Visit restaurants, pubs and other hospitality venues (including but not limited to cinemas, theatres and museums).
• Visit salons, gyms or leisure centres.
• Socialise with other households indoors.
• Socialise with more than one member of another household outdoors.
Yesterday’s announcement follows concerns that hospitals across the country are becoming overwhelmed. According to the BBC, we are well on our way to seeing even higher hospitalisations and deaths than the first wave, so this second national lockdown is an attempt to slow the spread. Of course, for many, there is also the hope that the measures will be eased before Christmas and, come December 2, it is expected that we will return to the localised Tier system.
Johnson had supposedly been warned about the need for a national lockdown by Sir Patrick Vallance and Prof Chris Whitty, who head the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), but he resisted this in favour of the localised Tier system which has been in place for a just a few weeks. Scientists argued that local measures weren’t enough, and the Prime Minister has finally succumbed to pressures.
Of course this is very bad news for the hospitality industry, and all other “non-essential” businesses. If you’re in a position to, treat yourself to a takeaway from your favourite restaurant, or order yourself some booze from a local business to get you through. We’ll be sharing all the different ways you can help throughout the lockdown, so stay tuned.
This article is being updated.