In a televised conference this evening (Saturday 31 October), Johnson confirmed England would go into a second lockdown, implemented in a bid to curb coronavirus transmission rates and relieve increasing pressures on the health service.
To be voted on
The measures outlined by the PM tonight will be put to a vote in Parliament on Monday, he said.
If Parliament votes for the measures, then lockdown will come into force on Thursday 5 November.
The lockdown will be lifted on 2 December, but during the period schools, colleges and universities can remain open. However, teaching unions have called for schools and universities to be closed, urging that classes are moved online.
“I’m afraid no responsible Prime Minister can ignore the message of those figures,” Johnson said of scientific data showing potential increases in deaths and infections.
“We know the cost of these restrictions, the damage and the impact on jobs and livelihoods and on people’s mental health and no one want s to be imposing these measures anywhere.”
Closing businesses, pubs, in one part of the country where infection wasn’t high was something the Government wanted to avoid, he added.
Time to take action
“Now is the time to take action because there is no alternative and from Thursday until the start of December, you must stay at home.
“Non-essential shops, leisure will close. Pubs, bars, restaurants must close unless for takeaway and delivery services.”
Pubs will, once again, be able to offer takeaways and deliveries, although many will undoubtedly feel unprecedent pressures.
The country will go back into a tiered system once the national lockdown has ended, the Prime Minister said, with the hopes there would be some normality towards Christmas.
On the question of when this will end, Johnson said with the availability of testing and vaccinations, normality would likely resume.
The sector did not fully recover from the first lockdown, the majority only managing to break even with the help of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, The Morning Advertiser understands.
In essence, the lockdown will be the same as that imposed during spring, apart from schools being allowed to remain open.
Work from home
Workers will be encouraged to work from home where possible, while those who can’t – such as key workers – will be allowed to go to their places of work. Supermarkets will also remain open.
People will be allowed to meet one person from outside their household, but only in an outdoor setting, it has also been confirmed.
According to previous announcements from Johnson, another national lockdown was something he and the Government wished to avoid.
This was demonstrated through the use of the tier system, which has seen many parts of the country plunged into tier two and tier three systems that have decimated sales.
Pubs operating in tier two were allowed to remain open, but customers could only visit venues together if they were from the same household.
Those operating under tier three were only allowed to trade if they served a 'substantial meal’ with drinks.