Boris Johnson confirms new national lockdown for England as UK registers record Covid-19 cases

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England will enter a new national lockdown until at least mid-February, when vulnerable groups should be vaccinated against Covid-19, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday.

Describing the move as part of “a great national effort to fight Covid,” Johnson announced a nationwide lockdown until at least mid-February. By that time, Johnson said that “if things go well and with a fair wind,” all of the UK’s frontline health and social care workers, elderly, and clinically vulnerable will be vaccinated.

The weeks ahead will be the hardest yet. But we are entering the final phase. The end is in sight

The news came as the UK recorded 58,784 new cases of the virus – the country’s highest daily increase to date, and the seventh day in a row it has registered more than 50,000 new infections.

Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives. pic.twitter.com/j4aMTZgtY7

— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) January 4, 2021

The PM announced the escalation of Covid curbs in a national televised address from Downing Street, saying parts of the county not already subject to Tier 4 restrictions would now be subject to these as well. 

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Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier announced that Scotland would enter a national lockdown at midnight on Monday, with the public ordered by law to “stay at home.”

WATCH LIVE: My update on coronavirus. (4 January 2021) https://t.co/ZL6PeAGWPl

— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 4, 2021

MPs will be recalled to the House of Commons on Wednesday to vote on the new restrictions for England, although they will likely participate virtually and have been urged not to attend in person unless absolutely necessary. 

Public Health England’s medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle earlier urged people to continue adhering to health measures, including wearing a face mask, saying: “The continuous rise in cases and deaths should be a bitter warning for us all.”

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On Monday, the UK reported a further 407 fatalities within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, taking the total death toll to 75,431, according to official government data.

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