Paramedics wait in ambulances outside the Royal London Hospital (Picture: James Linsell-Clark / SWNS)
Boris Johnson has set out England’s third national lockdown to control the soaring spread of coronavirus.
More than three-quarters of England’s population was already under the toughest tier four restrictions, but the Prime Minister responded to an alarming rise in Covid patients by putting the whole of the country under nationwide restrictions.
Police will have enforcement powers over the new rules but tonight Mr Johnson did not set out a time frame for how long they could last but mid February is thought to be the earliest date the country could emerge from lockdown. The public are being urged to adhere to the restrictions immediately, before they are rubber-stamped by MPs.
But what does that mean for people already living under tier four, and how will their lives change in a national lockdown?
How does lockdown differ from tier four?
In tier four, household mixing is banned, non-essential shops are closed, and people may only leave their house for limited reasons, including work, exercise and education.
Rules will be tougher in lockdown, with the PM reverting to his ‘stay at home’ messaging from the first wave.
All primary and secondary schools and colleges will move to remote learning, except for the children of key workers or vulnerable children. Nurseries will remain open.
Non-essential shops are closed in tier four, which doesn’t affect essential shops like supermarkets (Picture: EPA)
And unlike in tier four, university students will not be allowed to return to campus and will be expected to study from their current residence.
Non-essential shops will remain closed. Mr Johnson said residents can leave their homes for shopping for necessities such as food and medicine, but it should only be as infrequently as possible.
Exercise will be allowed – but in lockdown it is preferably limited to once a day – with members of your household or support bubble or one other person from another household, such as if going for a walk or run.
People will be able to go to work if it is impossible to work from home, such as those working in the construction sector or those who are critical workers. All others must work from home.
Like in tier four, places of worship can remain open for individual prayers and communal worship in lockdown, but people should only visit with their household or support bubble. Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals are still allowed with strict limits on attendance.
Elite sport can also continue.
Under the national lockdown, those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable – defined by the NHS as those at high risk from Covid-19 – should no longer attend work, school, college or university.
However, that was already the case in tier four areas.
Travel outside of tier four areas was not permitted, except for work purposes, to travel to education or caring responsibilities, to visit those in your support or childcare bubble or for medical appointments or emergencies.
The Government advised that if you can work from home, then you should.
Working from home is advised (Picture: Getty Images)
But now people across the country are being told to stay at home other than for limited exceptions.
During the last national lockdown, international travel was banned.
Gyms were shut during both the first and second national lockdowns, which led to several facilities defying the rules and attempting to stay open in the second lockdown. A number of gym owners were fined as a result.
Gyms in the remaining tier three areas in England could stay open, but were not allowed to do so under tier four.
Gyms are closed under tier four restrictions (Picture: Getty Images)
Due to the nature of the close-up contact of these services, hairdressers, barbers, and beauty salons will have to shut their doors under the national lockdown – as they did under tier four, to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
Non-essential shops closed
Shops deemed ‘essential’, including supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies, petrol stations, hardware stores, banks, pet shops and post offices were allowed to remain open in tier four.
However, all other stores, which are not deemed essential for everyday life, are not permitted to stay open.
That appears to remain the same in this third national lockdown.
What shops are deemed non-essential?
- Clothes shops
- Electronics stores
- Car showrooms
- Travel agents
- Betting shops and adult gaming centres
- Auction houses
- Car washes
- Tobacco and vape shops
- Card shops
- Phone shops
- Jewellery stores
- Toy shops
- Homeware shops
- Music shops
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