Prime Minister Boris Johnson closed schools and declared a national lockdown in England, followed by Scotland

As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from Covid than ever since the start of the pandemic In England alone, the number of Covid patients in hospitals has dropped by almost a third to almost 27 in the last week000 and that number is 40 percent higher than the first high on April 29th December tested more than 80000 people in the US positive for CovidK, a new record The death toll has risen 20 percent in the past week and will unfortunately continue to rise And my thoughts go out to all those who have lost loved ones With most of the country already facing extreme measures, it is clear that together we need to do more to get this new variant under control while our vaccines are being rolled out in England so we have to go into a national lockdown tough enough to curb this variant only from what is legally allowed Leave reasons, e.g. B. to buy essentials, to work – if you absolutely cannot work from home – to play sports, to seek medical help, e.g. B. To get a Covid test or to avoid domestic abuse, elementary schools, secondary schools and colleges across England will have to switch to remote care starting tomorrow, with the exception of vulnerable children and children of key workers

LONDON – Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed a tough new national lockdown on Monday as Britain’s desperate race to vaccinate its population could be overtaken by a fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus that was on track to attack beleaguered hospitals Country to overwhelm

After several days of shockingly high and escalating case numbers, Mr. Johnson ordered schools and colleges in England to close their doors and switch to distance learning. He appealed to the British to stay home for all but a few necessary purposes, including essential work and buying food and medicines

The statewide restrictions, officials warned, will remain in place through at least mid-February,

The decision was a new setback for Mr Johnson came at a time when the arrival of two vaccines after nine difficult months and severe criticism of his handling of the pandemic appeared to offer a way out of the crisis

The day the first doses of a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University were given, the good news was drowned out by the reintroduction of the type of sweeping restrictions put in place last spring when the pandemic first threatened to end Control

In the past few weeks, the new, highly transmissible variant of the virus has caught on in London and the south-east of England, causing the number of cases to rise alarmingly to nearly 60000 per day and has put hospitals under acute pressure

On Sunday, Mr Johnson admitted that the current controls of daily life were inadequate. The first announcement of a full lockdown did not come from England, however, but from Scotland, where the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has gone further and faster to tame the pandemic

Speaking in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon said mainland Scotland people would be required to stay at home and work from where they could, while places of worship would be closed and schools would be largely run through distance learning / p>

Mr Johnson followed on Monday night to announce the lockdown in England that had been predicted by many

“It is clear that we need to do more together to get this new variant under control as our vaccines roll out,” said Mr Johnson said in a television address

Although the coming weeks may be some of the toughest, he believed Britain “is entering the final phase of the fight because with every push that goes into our arms we tilt the odds against Covid and in favor of Covid the British People ”

The people of England have been encouraged to abide by the new rules immediately, although some of the new restrictions will not take effect until Wednesday morning and there will likely be a vote in Parliament on a special reminder day

Ministers had celebrated the deployment of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not only cheaper than Pfizer-BioNTech’s but also much easier to store, saying it could help turn the tide of Britain’s fight against the virus

But the UK is in a race to roll out its mass vaccination program before its congested health service is overwhelmed by the new variant, treatment without Covid is already being postponed again, and pictures of ambulances piling up in some hospitals’ parking lots last week , showed the challenge facing the country’s tired health workers

The government has raised its Covid warning for the first time, warning of a “material risk that health services will be overwhelmed. There were more than 26 on Monday000 Covid-19 patients in hospitals, an increase of 30 percent compared to the previous week, Mr. Johnson’s office said, And cases are growing rapidly across the country, it said

Mr Johnson has set an ambitious goal for the country’s vaccine campaign: delivering an initial dose of the vaccine to the most vulnerable populations by mid-February, if the government gets that, restrictions could be lifted

Most Britons are already facing severe restrictions on a day-to-day basis. Non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants are already closed in much of England, where those who live by the strictest rules in the areas are not allowed to mix between households

Now all parts of England will be under these curbs and schools will be closed to most students

However, some restrictions will be a little less onerous than those imposed last March when the virus marched relentlessly across Europe and the country was first put into lockdown

This time around, the people of England are still allowed to meet someone else to practice outside together and the places of worship remain open, as does the playgrounds of elite professional football games, although some games had to be canceled recently after the players were infected

For critics, Monday’s developments have left Mr Johnson’s tendency to postpone decisions until the last moment, in part to balance public health issues with concerns of many of his ruling Conservative Party about the devastating economic impact.

The Sunday after Mr Johnson used a BBC interview to warn that new restrictions were likely Opposition Labor Party leader Keir Starmer called for immediate new national restrictions

But on Monday morning, Mr. Johnson seemed at first to oppose a quick decision, insisting that on a hospital visit the government still measure the impact of the toughest restrictions already in place, acknowledging “tough” weeks ahead and saying it was “not an issue.” “that tougher measures would be announced“ in due course ””

Pressure mounted even within his own Conservative Party when senior lawmaker and former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wrote on Twitter that it was now “time to act” and “schools, borders, and household mixing are now prohibited immediately ”

The main lesson from dealing with the pandemic was that “countries that act early and decisively save lives and quickly get their economies back to normal,” Mr. Hunt said

Medical experts said Mr Johnson had no choice but to take more draconian measures given the rapid spread of the new variant. Some said the Prime Minister was already behind the curve given the number of cases and hospital admissions in the country shot up last week

“He’s running late,” said Devi Sridhar, head of the global health program at the University of Edinburgh. “With the new variant, the situation is dire. You have to manage borders, pause schools and stop mingling between households”

The state scientific advisory body known as SAGE was established on Dec. recommended 22 that Britain consider a national lockdown and close schools and universities The variant is on the way to become dominant in many parts of the country

New infections are on almost 60000 per day, twice as many as a few weeks ago

Since early December, hospital admissions in London have doubled every week, Christina Pagel, director of clinical operations at University College London, wrote on Twitter at 75024 deaths, Britain already has the highest death toll in Europe, and medical experts are warning that after more modest growth in the summer, it will pick up again

Others expressed concern about the constant changes in the message of a government that often seemed to respond to fast-moving events rather than anticipating them

Following the national lockdown last year, the government promised to do whatever it takes to keep schools open, but the return of students on Monday after the winter break was confusing as some schools had to close while in high infection areas some school principals decided to do this themselves In some cases it was because too many staff were sick, in others it was reports that children might be more susceptible to the new variant than to the original virus

A teachers’ union urged all elementary schools to switch to distance learning in the first two weeks of January, with the exception of classes aimed at vulnerable children and the families of key workers

After days of chaos over school policy, Mr. Johnson reluctantly and belatedly agreed to this proposal on Monday

“Parents whose children were in school today are reasonably wondering why we didn’t make this decision sooner,” he said, adding, “the answer is simply that we did everything in our power to to keep schools open ”

UK Lockdown, Boris Johnson

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