03 November 2020 08:31
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday, October 31 that England will be entering another national coronavirus lockdown. The PM said in his televised address from Downing Street the new lockdown restrictions are not as strict as the rules introduced earlier this year. Speaking at the press conference, England's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, saidthe number of inpatient beds was going up "on an exponential curve", and several hospitals already have more people in beds than during the peak earlier in 2020. Speaking on Saturday (31 October), the prime minister announced a second national lockdown, meaning people must stay at home unless for specific reasons, such as attending school or college, or going to the supermarket from 5 November. England's second national lockdown will begin at 12.01am on Thursday 5 November.
They will do this on Wednesday 4 November, and it is expected that the changes will be approved by Parliament, despite reports of a small revolt among Tory MPs who are against a second national lockdown. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said his party would vote in favour of the latest coronavirus restrictions but warned of the "cost to that delay" in locking down. It is expected that England's second national lockdown will end at 12.01am on Wednesday 2 December. The four-week length of the lockdown was set out by Boris Johnson, and means that this time around there is a very definite end. The end date is not set in stone, and England's newly-announced lockdown could last longer than an initial four weeks and extend well into December, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove admitted.
Lockdown will begin at 00.01 on Thursday 5 November, with the rules set to end at 00.01 on Wednesday 2 December. While the lockdown is tabled to end on 2 December, this date will be up for evaluation closer to the time. Cabinet minister Michael Gove said it is his "fervent hope" that England's new lockdown will end on 2 December – but that ministers will be "guided by the facts". Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove also said pupils had to be kept in classrooms even if it meant extending the lockdown (Photo: Getty) "If people reduce their contacts as we expect them to, then that will be immediate, but it takes time for it to filter through into reduced admissions to hospitals, reduced deaths per day. Pubs, bars, restaurants and non-essential retail will close until 2 December and people will be told to stay at home unless they have a specific reason to leave.
People will be allowed outside to exercise and socialise in public spaces with their household or one other person, where ventilation is best, but not indoors or in private gardens. People will be allowed to meet with one person from another household and sit with them in a park as long as they follow social distancing guidelines. The category of people with illnesses making them vulnerable to the virus have been advised by the Prime Minister to "minimise their contact with others," but not under formal restrictions. "I know how tough shielding was and we will not ask people to shield again in the same way," Mr Johnson said in his speech announcing the regulations on Saturday. More than seven months have passed since Boris Johnson first placed the nation into lockdown in March. But now, just as some normality was beginning to return (although some were still shielding and/or in local lockdown), the number of coronavirus cases has skyrocketed, prompting the prime minister to shut down the country once more. When the nation was plunged into lockdown on 23 March, the rules and restrictions came into effect almost immediately, leaving people with little time to prepare for what turned out to be several weeks stuck at home. During a press conference on 31 October, Mr Johnson confirmed that the second lockdown would begin on 5 November and last "until the start of December". While many of the rules are the same as the first stint, with pubs, non-essential shops and beauty salons being forced to close, there are some notable differences including the fact that schools will remain open. "We are not going back to the full-scale lockdown of March and April," the prime minister said. From getting a second wave-proof haircut to one last hoorah at the pub, here is your guide to all the things you should try and do before the four-week lockdown starts. However, not every attempt was successful and in June, the National Health and Beauty Federation (NHBF) strongly advised people not to undertake any treatments at home which are usually performed by a hair or beauty professional. To prevent a beauty disaster use the impending lockdown not only as an excuse to pamper yourself but to support a local business while you can by booking an appointment at your favourite salon for a Covid-proof hair cut that will see you through the next four weeks in style. You can make a one-time purchase or sign up for a subscription for deliveries every eight, 12 or 16 weeks. The good news is that, under the new lockdown rules garden centres are one of the shops permitted to remain open, so you can stock up on bulbs and spread out the planting throughout the next four weeks to help keep yourself entertained. Pre-lockdown, many of us considered exercise an essential part of our daily routine, so when gyms were forced to shut due to the pandemic, it was a huge blow to both the fitness industry and those who rely on fitness keep their physical and mental health in check. If you're one of the people who spent the first lockdown longing to get back to weight lifting or in-person yoga classes, then now is the time to pack your bag and put on your leggings for one last session at the gym. Because the new rules will mean that, as of 5 November, there will be no mixing of people inside homes anywhere in the country, except for in cases where childcare and other forms of support are necessary. It didn't take prophetic genius for Labour's Keir Starmer to urge Boris Johnson to follow Sage's mid-September advice for a two-week circuit-break while schools were closed for half-term. Britons dismiss foreigners, but the ingredients are simple and universal: effective isolating means no need for lockdowns, she says. Yet here, 2 million people earning less than £120 per week don't even get sick pay, so a message from a call centre to isolate has a weak effect. Give people the help they need and they will stay at home, but that takes not a Serco phone command but local, knowledgable tracers to care for the isolated. Prioritise schools for these fast, frequent tests, nurture staff and children sent home – this time give each child a laptop – with top-quality nationally streamed classes. Over the past decade, England's public health has worsened for the first time in living memory.