When did lockdown 3 start in England and how long will it last?
27 January 2021, 11:29
Boris Johnson earlier this year that England will go into its third national lockdown - here's what we know about when it will start and end.
Boris Johnson has announced that England will go into its third full lockdown, following a sharp rise in coronavirus cases due to the more contagious new variant.
Speaking from Downing Street in a televised address on Monday 4 January, the Prime Minister said: "Since the pandemic began last year the whole United Kingdom has been engaged in a great national effort to fight Covid, in fighting the old variant of the virus, our efforts would have continued to work
"We now have a new variant, and it’s been frustrating and alarming to see the speed at which it’s been growing."
Mr Johnson added that our hospitals are under more pressure than they have been at any time during the pandemic, and that 80,000 people in the country tested positive for Covid-19 on 29 December.
He then announced that England will adopt a national lockdown, saying: "In England, we must therefore go into a national lockdown tough enough to contain this variant."
When will lockdown 3 start?
The new lockdown has now begun.
Speaking about the new rules, Mr Johnson said: "The government once agin instructing you to stay at home.
"You may only leave home to shop, work if you cannot work from home, exercise, seek medical assistance, and escape domestic abuse."
He also said that those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should shield again, and that they would be receiving letters explaining their situation.
On the subject of schools, he said that colleges, primary and secondary schools must move to remote learning (except for vulnerable children and those of key workers).
How long will the lockdown last?
There is no confirmation on when it will end, but Mr Johnson expressed his wish that we may be able to start to reduce measures around mid-February.
He said: "If our understanding of the virus doesn't change dramatically once again, if rollout of vaccine continues to be successful, if deaths fall, and if everyone plays their part by following the rules then i hope we can start to come out of lockdown at February half term."
Michael Gove subsequently told Sky News that lockdown may continue for longer than February, saying: "We can't predict with certainty that we will be able to lift restrictions in the week commencing February 15-22.
"What we will be doing is everything that we can to make sure that as many people as possible are vaccinated, so that we can begin to progressively lift restrictions.
"I think it is right to say that as we enter March we should be able to lift some of these restrictions but not necessarily all."