Prime Minister, Boris John has introduced a new national lockdown to come into action from today (05/01/2021). Instructions have changed to stay home, control the virus and protect the NHS.
The decision follows after a rapid rise in COVID-19 infections and hospital admissions across the country.
This drastic jump in cases has been attributed to the new variant of COVID-19, which scientists have now confirmed is between 50 and 70 per cent more transmissible.
UK chief medical officer has said that England should now move from tier 4 to tier 5 meaning that from today people can only leave their home to:
- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person.
- go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home.
- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one.
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse).
- attend education or childcare – for those eligible.
Also as of today schools and colleges will move to remote learning with the exception of children of critical workers and vulnerable children still being able to attend school.
The government is also advising the clinically extremely vulnerable to begin shielding again, and letters will be sent to individuals with advice on what this means for them.
All non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure and personal care services must close, or remain closed. Restaurants can continue delivery, takeaway or click-and-collect of food and non-alcoholic drinks, but venues will no longer be able to serve takeaway or click-and-collect alcohol.
Restrictions are expected to last until at least mid-February. You can find out more information here.