BREAKING: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Announces National Lockdown as Coronavirus Cases Surge

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday issued new national lockdown orders for Great Britain as COVID-19 cases surge to record levels throughout the United Kingdom.

Photo by Alberto Pezzali-Pool/Getty Images

The latest restrictions will be in effect for four weeks.

“Now is the time to take action, because there is no alternative,” Johnson said in a recorded statement. “From Thursday until the start of December you must stay at home, you may only leave home for specific reasons, including: for education; for work (if you cannot work from home); for exercise and recreation outdoors with your household or on your own or with one person from another household; for medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm; to shop for food and essentials; and to provide case for vulnerable people or as a volunteer.”

Johnson added that “non-essential shops, leisure, and entertainment venues will all be closed, though ‘click-and-click’ services can continue and essential shops will remain open, so there’s no need to stock up.”

In addition to the aforementioned, “pubs, bars, and restaurants must close except for take-away and delivery services. Workplaces should stay open where people can’t work from home, for example, in the construction and manufacturing sectors,” Johnson said. “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.”

For those individuals who are “vulnerable or over the age of 60,” Johnson continued, “you should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimize your contacts with others.”

Johnson said that he “knows how tough shielding was and we will not ask people to shield again in the same way. But we are asking those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to minimize their contact with others and not go to work if they are able to work from home.”

Schools, however, will remain open.

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Asked by BBC reporters if he “has any regrets” about how he has handled the pandemic thus far, Johnson alluded to the challenges of balancing science with people’s overall well-being, particularly their mental health.

“We have to balance that scientific advice with the consequences for people’s lives, for people’s mental health, people’s livelihoods that comes from lockdown measures,” said Johnson.

“I’m not going to pretend to you that these judgements aren’t incredibly difficult,” he added. “We have to change with the changing pattern of the virus. And, alas, what we’re seeing now is a pretty consistent surge. We have to deal with it.”

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