Boris Johnson announces four-week lockdown for England

England is to go into a four-week lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed this evening.

The lockdown will begin at 12.01am on Thursday, November 5, subject to Parliamentary approval.

It will end on Wednesday, December 2, when the government will look to ease the new restrictions on a local and regional basis, according to the latest data and trends at the time.

The key difference between the first and second lockdown is that this one has a set cut-off time.

The new lockdown will apply to England only. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have taken their own steps. Wales is currently midway through a two-week fire-break lockdown which is due to end on Monday, November 9.

The England lockdown will be subject to a debate and a vote in the House of Commons. The vote is likely on Wednesday, November 4.  It comes after new data showed the extent of cases across England. The Office for National Statistics estimated that 568,100 people in households were infected with coronavirus in the week ending October 23.

Boris Johnson spoke to Labour leader Keir Starmer and the Commons Speaker on Saturday afternoon and he will be making a statement to Parliament on Monday at 3.30pm.

Watch our video on plans for Wales after the current fire-break lockdown ends

Video Loading

Video Unavailable

Under the terms of the new lockdown, you may only leave your home for specific reasons. These will include:

  • Education;
  • Work, if you cannot work from home;
  • Exercise and recreation outdoors, either with own household or bubble, or on your own with one person from another household or bubble;
  • For medical reasons, appointments, or to escape injury or harm, including domestic abuse;
  • To shop for food and essentials;
  • To provide care for vulnerable people or as a volunteer.

Non essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will all be closed but it is not yet known whether supermarkets in England, like Wales, will be banned from selling non-essential items during lockdown. It has caused plenty of controversy this side of the border, with one man visiting his local Tesco wearing just his pants in protest.

There was also fury when Tesco told customers they were unable to buy sanitary products.

And B&M issued a plea to customers to make their own judgement on ‘non-essential’ items as  they said staff could not challenge them.

Boris Johnson announces four-week lockdown for England
Non-essential items are taped up at supermarkets across Wales for the fire-break lockdown

In England, like in the first lockdown, any household social mixing between different households – indoors or outdoors – will be banned.
The exception to this is two people only from two households meeting in a public open space, as above. This exemption does not apply to private gardens.

Unlike in the first lockdown, there will be no limit to the number of times a day you can exercise and playgrounds will also remain open this time round.

However, the rule of six no longer applies to outdoor gatherings – instead, people can only meet one person from one other household or bubble, and only if they’re on their own when they do so.

Places of worship will remain open for private prayer.

Pubs, bars and restaurants must also close, except for takeaway and delivery and hairdressers will also be closed.

Elite sport – including the Premier League – can continue because it has put Covid measures in place but amateur sport, including Saturday leagues, will be put on hold for the duration of the four-week lockdown.

Members of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) have backed the introduction of more stringent measures.

Professor Sir Jeremy Farrar said the consequences of sticking with the current “insufficient” restrictions would be “much worse” than going for a second lockdown.

Find out about coronavirus cases in your area:

The director of the Wellcome Trust said: “The sooner we act, the sooner we can start to recover. It will be a very difficult few weeks now and no one can underestimate the toll that will take on people.

“But the consequences of sticking with the current insufficient restrictions would have been much worse.”

Sage member Professor Calum Semple told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “For the naysayers that don’t believe in a second wave, there is a second wave.

“And, unlike the first wave, where we had a national lockdown which protected huge swathes of society, this outbreak is now running riot across all age groups.”

Professor John Edmunds said the only way to have a “relatively safe” Christmas is to take “stringent” action now to bring the incidence of the virus “right down”.