England will go into a second national lockdown on Thursday as the UK grapples with increasing cases of Covid.
PM Boris Johnson said that extra measures will be in place until 2 December, saying there was “no alternative”.
“It is crucial to grasp this that the general threat to public health comes not from focusing too much on covid, but from not focusing enough, from failing to get it under control,” he said.
“And if we let the lines on those graphs grow in the way they could and in the way they’re projected to grow, then the risk is that for the first time in our lives, the NHS will not be there for us and for our families
“And even if I could now double capacity overnight – and obviously I am proud that we have massively increased capacity, we do have the Nightingales, we’ve got 13,000 more nurses now than last year, we have many more doctors – but it still would not be enough, because the virus is doubling faster than we could conceivably add capacity
“And so now is the time to take action because there is no alternative.”
People will only be allowed to leave home to continue their education, to go to work if unable to do so from home, to exercise with a maximum of one person from another household, for medical reasons, to shop for essentials, and to care for the vulnerable.
Pubs, bars, restaurants must close except for takeaway and delivery services.
Single adult households can still form exclusive support bubbles with one other household, and children will still be able to move between homes if their parents are separated.
The City of London Corporation’s Policy Chair, Catherine McGuinness, said: “England is facing a long and difficult winter. This second national lockdown will be a blow to households and businesses across the country.
“The Prime Minister explained why these extraordinary measures are needed to slow the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives. We again urge people to act responsibly by complying with the new restrictions once they come into effect.
“It is clear that the virus is not going to go away quickly. Households and businesses will need additional support through these tough times so it is welcome that the furlough scheme has been extended.
“In order to pay for this support, we will also need sectors such as hospitality and retail to reopen safely as well as office workers returning to Covid-secure workplaces as soon as possible.
“We urge policymakers to keep these measures under close review based on the evidence and set out a pathway for how parts of the country, including London, can return to a semblance of normality.
“The Government should also outline a clear plan for our economic recovery that backs the industries that will drive future growth.”