U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that England will enter a six-week lockdown, as the spread of an extremely contagious brand-new coronavirus variant threatens to overwhelm the National Health Service.
Why it matters: It’s England’s 3rd nationwide lockdown, following the initial March limitations during the start of the pandemic and a four-week “circuit-breaker” in November.
- Large parts of England had actually already been under numerous degrees of lockdown, and Scotland enforced a month-long national lockdown earlier on Monday. Wales and Northern Ireland have been under tight limitations because December, and it’s unclear whether a more stringent lockdown will follow.
- A declaration from the U.K.’s primary medical officers on Monday advised Johnson to move the U.K. COVID-19 alert level from “Level 4” to “Level 5,” warning of a “product threat” of hospital systems being overwhelmed in the next 21 days.
Information: Under the brand-new limitations, people in England will be mandated to stay home up until mid-February, with exceptions for leaving house for workout, healthcare, searching for necessities and avoiding domestic violence.
- Unlike the 2nd national lockdown, schools and colleges will be closed and moved completely to remote knowing.
What they’re saying: ” We now have a new variation of the virus, and it’s been both discouraging and worrying to see the speed with which the new variant is spreading out,” Johnson said in a national address.
- ” In England, we should therefore go into a nationwide lockdown that is tough enough to contain this variant. That means the federal government is as soon as again advising you to stay at house.”
In between the lines: The new variation of the coronavirus has been discovered to have a greater degree of transmissibility, however there is “no proof to suggest that the version has any impact on the seriousness of disease or vaccine efficacy,” per the Centers for Illness Control
The huge picture: The fresh lockdown comes as more than 1 million individuals in the U.K. have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
- The U.K. was the very first country to roll out both the Pfizer vaccine and the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine for emergency use.
- 82- year-old Brian Pinker on Monday ended up being the very first individual in the world to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine outside of medical trials.