“It is clear that we need to do more to bring this new variant under control,” the U.K Prime Minister Boris Johnson said announcing a nationwide lockdown on Monday, expected to remain in place at least through the middle of February. During his televised address to the nation, Johnson reimposed measures seen during the first lockdown last spring, including closures of secondary and primary schools to all except the children of key workers and vulnerable children. People will be allowed to leave their homes for limited reasons like shopping for essentials, exercise, and medical assistance. People could still leave home “to escape domestic abuse.” International departures are now limited to those who have “a legally permitted reason,” including work. Outdoor sports venues will be closed. Nurseries will not be shuttered, elite sports can go ahead, and places of worship will remain open on the basis that attendees adhere to social distancing rules.
The health ministry has said the country would move to the highest Covid-19 alert level, reflecting concern that the rising number of hospitalizations could overwhelm country’s National Health Service (NHS) in coming weeks. „There are currently very high rates of community transmission, with substantial numbers of COVID patients in hospitals and in intensive care,” Covid-19 vaccination program began last month. The UK became the first in the world to administer the clinically approved Pfizer/BionTech vaccaine and more than 1 million people have received the immunization. The first doses of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine also were administered in the UK.