Johnson said at a news conference Saturday evening that the half-month closure would take effect Thursday after a congressional vote early last week.
“We must act now to control the rising fall,” he said.
Johnson was forced to make the announcement Saturday after the government’s plans were leaked to several national newspaper outlets earlier in the evening. The plan initially announced the measure on Monday.
Strict closures will see the closure of restaurants, cafes and non-essential businesses, including hair and toy stores. Schools, universities and playgrounds are open.
People will be able to leave their home for specific reasons only: education, work (if they can not work from home), shopping, for health reasons, or exercise and recreation outside the home, whether with that person’s household or with someone from another household.
The government is discouraging all unnecessary travel, even if people can still travel to work abroad, forcing them to comply with British rules of return. The measure only applies to the UK, as health care is administered by the governments of Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
The closure will remain in place until December 2, with Johnson now hoping the virus will have enough control to help Britain fight the virus again, depending on the region.
The prime minister, who spent the afternoon discussing the matter with his cabinet, said he wanted to “avoid the misery of another blockade,” but did not say no.
He has been under pressure for weeks as top British scientists have warned of a blockade in Britain, rather than the current local system.
The National Bureau of Statistics currently estimates that 1 in 100 people in the UK have Covid, an average of 568,100. That compares with 1 in 2,300 in July and 1 in 200 in early October.
The figure R (number of reproduction) is above 1 everywhere and it is growing in areas with low incidence. The decision on the worsening restrictions comes as Johnson’s administration has been advised that if no action is taken, the capacity of the National Health Service will be used beyond the first week of December.
Calum Semple, a member of the government’s Emergency Science Advisory Group (SAGE) and Respiratory Medicine Advisor, said Saturday morning that the restrictions were “more severe” because the virus was “causing chaos” across the country.
The second rise of Europe
Elsewhere in Europe, other countries continue to fight rising cases.
The National Disease Control Agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany, reported the fourth consecutive day on Saturday with 19,059 cases reported in 24 hours.
The number of new infections broke Friday’s record of 18,681 cases. The total number of German cases is currently 518,753 and the death toll has risen to 103 to 10,452, according to the RKI.
Germany will impose a wide-ranging embargo from Monday to try to slow the spread of dengue fever, its government decided Wednesday night. Bars, restaurants and cafes will remain closed except for admission. All theaters and concert halls will be closed, as well as sports venues, entertainment venues and entertainment venues.
Belgium, which is sending patients to Germany for treatment due to an increase in hospital admissions, will enforce a six-week closure measure starting Sunday night.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said as he announced the restrictions on Friday: “We are returning to a strict embargo, with the sole purpose: to ensure that our health care system does not collapse.”
Measures include the closure of unnecessary shops, hair salons and restaurants; Forced confinement for outdoor gatherings of up to four people and prohibition of indoor mixing, except by contact with “hugs,” or persons in a bubble. The rules run through December 13.
France closed its second national gate on Friday for the first four weeks, until December 1 at the “minimum”. The rules will be more comfortable during spring detention, with schools and workplaces remaining.
However, people will only be allowed outside to “go to work, go to medical appointments, take care of relatives, buy essentials and get some air,” said French President Emmanuel Macron.
“The virus is spreading at a speed that even the most pessimistic pity is unpredictable,” Macron said.
Greece has also extended its control measures from high-risk areas to the rest of the country. In a televised address Saturday, Kyriakos Mitsotakis outlined a number of measures for the country that will take effect on Tuesday, November 3 and last for a month.
There will be a curfew from midnight to 5 am, the use of masks will be enforced everywhere, and people will be encouraged to work more from home.
The number of epidemics in Europe since the outbreak has surpassed 10 million, with more than 1.5 million cases confirmed last week, World Health Organization (WHO) director Hans Kluge said on Thursday.
During a meeting with European health ministers, Kluge said hospital admissions had risen to “levels invisible since spring”, with the death toll rising 32 percent across the region last week.
“Europe is once again the epicenter of the epidemic,” Kluge said.
“At the risk of being a loud alarm, I have to show our genuine concern and convey our firm intention to stand by you and refine you as best we can.”
Kluge said the closure “does not mean what it means in March or April” and that indirect economic impacts must be considered.
But for most of Europe, the new phase of the blockade seems to be more difficult than ever.
CNN’s Emmet Lyons, Flora Charner, Chris Liakos, Hande Atay Alam, Fred Pleitgen and Tatiana Arias, Amy Cassidy, Gaelle Fournier, Tim Lister, Tatiana Arias, Valentina Di Donato and Zahid Mahmood contributed to the report.