A new national lockdown was announced  by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday evening, which will remain in place until at least mid-February

Like the first lockdown in March, people must stay at home, only leaving home if it is impossible to work from home such as construction, manufactures or critical workers.

People can leave their homes to shop for necessities – for themselves or others – or to exercise locally once a day.

Exercise is permitted with one person from outside a household or support bubble. Social distancing must be maintained.

Overnight stays away from home are not permitted unless it is a person within a support bubble, or you have a reasonable excuse. Holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed, including staying in a second home or caravan.

Those extremely clinically vulnerable should stay at home as much as possible.

Other UK leaders have also announced new restrictions. All schools in Wales will be closed until at least 18 January, while mainland Scotland will be placed in full lockdown from midnight on Monday for the duration of January. The first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said it was “no exaggeration to say that I am more concerned about the situation we face now than I have been at any time since March last year”.

Northern Ireland also looks set for new curbs, with Arlene Foster, the first minister of Northern Ireland, saying the region faces a “very dire situation”.

Johnson laid the blame for a third national lockdown squarely on a new, faster-spreading variant of the virus.

“There is no doubt that in fighting the old variant of the virus, our collective efforts were working and would have continued to work,” Johnson said. “But we now have a new variant of the virus. It has been both frustrating and alarming to see the speed with which the new variant is spreading.”

All primary schools, secondary schools and colleges will be closed apart from for the children of key workers and vulnerable children. “We recognise that this will mean it is not possible or fair for all exams to go ahead this summer as normal,” Johnson said. “The education secretary will work with Ofqual [the regulator] to put in place alternative arrangements.”

All non-essential retail and hospitality must close or remain closed. Restaurants and other premises can offer deliveries or takeaways, but alcohol will no longer be permitted for takeaway or click and collect.

Places of worship can remain open and offer communal worship – subject to social distancing. Outdoor team sports will not be permitted, but professional sports, including the Premier League, may continue.


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