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New four-week lockdown comes into force in England

New four-week lockdown comes into force in England

England has begun its second nationwide lockdown, with the public being ordered to stay at home for the next four weeks in a bid to reverse the spread of coronavirus. Pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops have once again been forced to close their doors as the measures came into force from Thursday (Nov 5).

A new four-week lockdown has begun in England, with people told to stay at home and non-essential shops, pubs and gyms ordered to close. The new rules ban households from mixing indoors or in private gardens, unless in a support bubble.

Police have warned that people who commit the most "egregious" breaches of the rules will face stiff fines.

The lockdown will "expire automatically" on Dec 2, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

On Wednesday, MPs backed the new lockdown which aims to combat a surge in coronavirus cases.

The lockdown, which came into effect at midnight, replaces the three tiers of regional restrictions that were previously in place across England. MPs are set to vote on the next steps needed to tackle the virus before the four weeks are up on Dec 2.

Mr Johnson told MPs that a second lockdown was "not something any of us wanted to do" but insisted the restrictions represented "the best and safest path for our country".

On Wednesday, the U.K. recorded a further 492 coronavirus deaths – the highest daily figure since 19 May – and 25,177 confirmed cases.

Under the new restrictions, people should stay at home except for specific reasons including education and work (if it cannot be done from home).

All non-essential retailers, leisure and entertainment venues must shut, with pubs and restaurants told to close except for takeaways.

Shoppers in England flocked to stores to make last-minute purchases on Wednesday, with some retailers extending their opening hours to cope with the huge demand.

Unlike the first lockdown in March, schools, universities, and nurseries will remain open, and people will be able to meet another person who they do not live with in an outdoor public place such as a park or beach.

The rules says people cannot mix with anyone they do not live with indoors or in private gardens.

– Source: News websites