Boris Johnson Locks England Down For 1 Month As COVID-19 Cases Cross 1 Million In UK

London: Prime Minister Boris Johnson forced England back into another lockdown after COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom surged past one million and the second wave of infections is threatening to overwhelm the health service of the country.

Having registered the highest death toll in Europe from COVID-19, England is fighting with more than 20,000 cases per day. The scientists have warned the “worst case” scenario of 80,000 dead could be exceeded, reported news agency Reuters.

At a hastily convened media briefing on Saturday, Johnson said that the one-month lockdown across the country would start at a minute past midnight on Thursday morning and continue till December 2.

During the one-month lockdown, citizens will only be allowed to leave home for specific purposes such as education, work, exercise, shopping for essentials and medicines or caring for the vulnerable, Reuters reported.

“Now is the time to take action because there is no alternative,” Johnson was quoted as saying by the news agency. At the time of the announcement, he was flanked by his Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, and his Chief Scientific Adviser, Patrick Vallance.

According to Reuters, the government will revive its emergency coronavirus wage subsidy scheme to ensure workers who are temporarily laid off during a new lockdown receive 80 per cent of their pay.

Among the services that will remain open are essential shops, schools, and universities, Johnson said. Pubs and restaurants will be shut apart from for takeaways. All non-essential retail will close again for the time being.

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