Boris Johnson announces strict new lockdown measures will be in place for six months

22 September 2020, 13:01 | Updated: 22 September 2020, 13:18

Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

The Prime Minister has said new social distancing measures could be in place in England until next March.

Boris Johnson has announced that strict new social distancing rules will be in place in England for six months after a rise in coronavirus cases.

The Prime Minister addressed the House of Commons today to set out his new plan to reduce the spread of the virus, including a 10pm curfew for restaurants and bars.

He also said face coverings will be mandatory for staff in supermarkets, as well as for restaurants and bars.

Giving a warning to the nation, the PM added that the rules will be in place until March next year, unless there is a significant improvement.

Boris Johnson has announced new rules
Boris Johnson has announced new rules. Picture: PA Images

He said: “We should assume, unless there is progress, that these restrictions will stay in place for six months.”

Read More: Boris Johnson increases penalties for those refusing to wear a mask as he announces tougher lockdown restrictions

This would mean that large families would not be able to gather in groups larger that six this Christmas.

Elsewhere in the live address, the PM told MPs that hospital admissions have more than doubled in the last fortnight.

He warned that the extra measures are necessary to avoid another total national lockdown.

He said: "This is by no means a return to a full lockdown as in March.

Boris Johnson addressed the Commons
Boris Johnson addressed the Commons. Picture: PA Images

"We are not issuing a general instruction to stay at home. We will ensure that schools and universities stay open.

"But we must take action to suppress the disease."

The measures in England include:

- A 10pm curfew for all pubs and hospitality venues from Thursday.

- Table service only - except for takeaway deliveries

- There will be tougher enforcement powers for shutting down venues which don't force people to stay apart

- People should work from home if they can

- Weddings will be reduced from 30 down to 15 - but funerals will stay on the same rules

- Facemasks will be made compulsory for staff in hospitality, supermarkets and taxis

- Team sports will have a six person maximum, banning five-aside football

- Planned return to crowds at live sport on October 1 now will not go ahead

- The fines will double to £200 for not wearing face masks

While these restrictions only apply to England, the PM said that Scotland and Wales are likely to follow suit with similar rules today.

Boris will also make a speech to the nation this evening at 8pm.