January 5, 2021: As a new lockdown begins in England and Scotland, People from both nations must stay at home from now onwards except for a handful of permitted reasons.
All schools and colleges will close to most pupils from Tuesday with remote learning until February half term.
PM Boris Johnson warned the coming weeks would be the hardest.
After the UK, it reported a record of 58,784 cases on Monday and a further 407 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.
Announcing England’s lockdown, Mr. Johnson said hospitals were under “more pressure from COVID-19 than at any time since the start of the pandemic”.
Johnson ordered people to stay indoors other than the requirements such as essential medical needs, food shopping, exercise, and work that cannot be done at home and said schools and colleges should move to remote teaching for most students until at least half term.
Early years settings such as nurseries will stay open. Restaurants can continue to offer food delivery, but takeaway alcohol will be banned. Outdoor sports venues – such as golf courses, tennis courts, and outside gyms must close.
Amateur team sports are not allowed, but elite sport such as Premier League football can continue.
People must follow the rules that now became the law, said the PM.
And Johnson said all care home residents and their caretakers, everyone aged 70 and over, all frontline health and social care workers, and the clinically extremely vulnerable would be offered one dose of a vaccine by mid-February.
“It is no exaggeration to say that I am more concerned about the situation we face now than I had been at any time since March last year,” the first prime minister Ms. Sturgeon said. She issued a stay-at-home order for Scotland, beginning at midnight and lasting until the end of January on Monday.
Mr. Johnson spoke after UK chief medical officers recommended the COVID-19 threat level be increased to five – its highest level.
Level five means the NHS may soon be unable to handle a further sustained rise in cases, the medical officers said in a joint statement.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents health service trusts, said patients were being admitted to hospital at an “alarming rate” and that “immediate and decisive action” was needed.