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England and Scotland begin new lockdowns as cases rise

January 5, 2021 5:46 pm
Boris Johnson

People in all of England and most of Scotland must now stay at home except for a handful of permitted reasons, as new lockdowns begin in both nations.

Schools have closed to most pupils in England, Scotland and Wales, while Northern Ireland will have an “extended period of remote learning”.

England’s rules are expected to last until mid-February, while Scotland’s will be reviewed at the end of January.

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PM Boris Johnson warned the coming weeks would be the “hardest yet”.

It comes after the UK reported a record 58,784 cases on Monday, as well as 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 than at any time since the start of the pandemic”.

He ordered people to stay indoors other than for limited exceptions – such as essential medical needs, food shopping, exercise and work that cannot be done at home – and said schools and colleges should immediately move to remote teaching for the majority of students.

And he said all care home residents and their carers, everyone aged 70 and over, all frontline health and social care workers, and the clinically extremely vulnerable will be offered one dose of a vaccine by mid-February.

While the rules become law in the early hours of Wednesday, people should follow them now, the PM added.

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