National lockdown: Will UK go back into lockdown today?
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This summer many parts of the UK returned to some semblance of normality as some measures were lifted after months of lockdown. However in recent weeks coronavirus cases have started to rise again, particularly in areas of northern England. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will provide an update on a new three-tier lockdown system for England today (Monday, October 12).
Will there be another national lockdown?
In March of this year, a hard lockdown was introduced nationwide, which prevented people from leaving their homes except for essential purposes.
Although further restrictions will be announced today, the Government has stressed it is keen to avoid another national lockdown.
In September Mr Johnson said a second wave was “inevitable”, but added: “I don’t want to get to a second national lockdown at all.”
He did acknowledge however the Government will introduce stricter restrictions when needed, adding: “As the disease progresses, of course we’re going to have to take further measures.”
Coronavirus cases are on the rise in the UK, with 12,872 cases recorded on Sunday, October 11.
Mr Johnson is expected to announce a new three-tier lockdown system on Monday, which would see areas of England ranked as either medium, high or very high risk for coronavirus infections.
Medium risk areas are likely to mirror the current lockdown restrictions, which includes the rule of six with indoor and outdoor gatherings.
High-risk areas could see further restrictions, such as bans on meeting other households indoors.
Very high-risk areas will likely see business closures, especially in the hospitality sector, to help reduce coronavirus cases.
A Downing Street spokesperson said in light of the PM’s impending announcement: “Our primary focus has always been to protect lives and livelihoods while controlling the spread of the virus and these measures will help achieve that aim.
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“We must do everything we can to protect the NHS and make sure it can continue to deliver the essential services that so many people rely on.
“This is a critical juncture and it is absolutely vital that everyone follows the clear guidance we have set out to help contain the virus.”
Although further restrictions are likely to be introduced, even in the highest risk areas restrictions are unlikely to parallel those introduced nationwide earlier this year.
Reports indicate the Government has no plans to close schools or places of worship in any areas.
Will the UK go back into lockdown today?
The Government has not announced when new lockdown restrictions will come into place, and the PM will outline when they start in his announcement on Monday evening at around 6pm.
However reports have suggested measures could start from Wednesday, October 14, and they could remain in place for many months.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told Sky News on Monday morning the Government hopes the UK will be in a position where the virus “is under control” by after Christmas, but he hoped it would be “sooner than that”.
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