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Boris Johnson announces tough new restrictions as UK virus cases surge

Boris Johnson announces tough new restrictions as UK virus cases surge

Boris Johnson announces tough new restrictions as UK virus cases surge

Boris Johnson has announced that England will return to a tough lockdown as a new variant of COVID-19 spreads rapidly across the UK.

During a televised address, the prime minister instructed residents to “stay home” as they did during lockdown in March.

People will only be permitted to leave their homes to work if they cannot work from home, to shop for essential items, to exercise once per day, to provide care to vulnerable people, for medical care, or to escape domestic abuse.

Schools and colleges will move to online learning from tomorrow, with summer exams cancelled.

Johnson introduced the measures in order to bring a new, rapidly-spreading variant of COVID-19 under control.

He noted that scientists believe the variant is between 50 per cent and 70 per cent more transmissible, and hospitals are under more strain than ever.

“As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from COVID than at any time since the start of the pandemic,” he said.

The prime minister warned that “if action is not taken, NHS capacity may be overwhelmed within 21 days”.

The new lockdown is expected to continue until the middle of February.

On Monday, the UK recorded its highest daily total cases since the start of the pandemic with 58,784 new infections.

It’s the seventh day in a row that there have been more than 50,000 cases.

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