COVID-19: New Four-Week Lockdown Comes Into Force In England

A new four-week lockdown has begun in England, with people told to stay at home and non-essential shops, pubs and gyms ordered to close.

The new rules ban households from mixing indoors or in private gardens, unless in a support bubble. Police have warned that people who commit the most “egregious” breaches of the rules will face stiff fines.

The lockdown will “expire automatically” on 2 December, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

On Wednesday, MPs backed the new lockdown which aims to combat a surge in coronavirus cases. The lockdown, which came into effect at midnight, replaces the three tiers of regional restrictions that were previously in place across England. MPs are set to vote on the next steps needed to tackle the virus before the four weeks are up on 2 December.

Mr Johnson told MPs that a second lockdown was “not something any of us wanted to do” but insisted the restrictions represented “the best and safest path for our country”.

On Wednesday, the UK recorded a further 492 coronavirus deaths – the highest daily figure since 19 May – and 25,177 confirmed cases.

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