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World

British PM Boris Johnson orders a national lockdown as COVID-19 variant spreads

  • The lockdown will remain in place at least through the middle of February.
  • Schools will be closed while people have been banned from leaving home for all but exercise and essential shopping.
Published January 5, 2021

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that England will enter its toughest nationwide lockdown as a new more infectious variant of the coronavirus spreads across the UK.

All schools and colleges will close to remote learning from Tuesday. The lockdown will remain in place at least through the middle of February. In his address, the PM said with most of the country already under extreme measures, it is clear that 'we need to do more together to bring this new variant under control.'

“We must therefore go into a national lockdown, which is tough enough to contain this variant. That means the government is once again instructing you to stay at home," Johnson said.

He said while the rules become law in the early hours of Wednesday, people should follow them now. During the lockdown, people are not allowed to leave their homes except to shop for basic necessities, exercise and seek medical assistance.

Meanwhile, Britain has begun vaccinating its population with Oxford University and AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot. Dialysis patient Brian Pinker, 82, received the first vaccination outside of a trial, Reuters reported.

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