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Boris Johnson announces new four-week virus lockdown in UK

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces a new month-long lockdown for England after being warned that a resurgent coronavirus outbreak will overwhelm hospitals in weeks without tough action.

Johnson says in a televised news conference that the new measures will begin Thursday and last until December 2.

He says without them, “we could see deaths in this country running at several thousand a day.”

“Now is the time to take action because there’s no alternative,” he says. “The virus is spreading even faster than the reasonable worst-case scenario of our scientific advisers.”

Bars and restaurants can only offer takeout under the new rules, non-essential shops must close and people will only be able to leave home for a short list of reasons, including exercise.

Unlike during the UK’s first lockdown earlier this year, schools, universities, construction sites and manufacturing businesses will stay open.

Johnson had hoped a set of regional restrictions would be enough to contain the virus, but government scientific advisers predict that on the outbreak’s current trajectory, demand for hospital beds will soon exceed capacity.

France went into a second nationwide lockdown on Friday.

Last month, Israel became the first country to enter a second national lockdown.

Source: TOI and Agencies