England Just Entered Its Second Lockdown — Here's How It Will Differ From Its First
Following new lockdowns in France and Germany, England also announced new nationwide restrictions, including shutting down restaurants and non-essential retail businesses, for four weeks in hopes of improving conditions by the Christmas holiday.
England has officially entered a second nationwide lockdown scheduled to remain in place through at least Dec. 2.
The latest restrictions require gyms, salons, entertainment venues, and non-essential retailers to shut their doors. Restaurants and pubs also must close, though takeout of non-alcoholic beverages is allowed.
The restrictions mean London's theater performances won't resume as planned and has forced the London National Theater’s first pandemic production — a solo show with a socially distanced audience — to end early, Playbill reported.
London’s museums and galleries also have closed their doors.
Each country within the UK has its own specific restrictions. The English government is broadly urging residents to avoid social interactions and only to leave their homes for essentials like food, work, childcare, and medical appointments. This lockdown, however, does make some allowances for social and other activities.
Under the new restrictions, people are allowed to form support bubbles with other households, meet friends in outdoor settings, and attend small weddings and funerals. Schools and universities also are remaining open.
The lockdown is partly an effort to save Christmas and partly an effort to slow a surge in coronavirus cases in the UK.
“It's my sincere hope and belief that by taking tough action now we can allow families across the country to be together,” Boris Johnson — who was hospitalized with COVID-19 in the spring — said in announcing the new rules.
Several other countries — including Ireland, Italy, Spain, and France — also have implemented lockdowns, curfews, and other measures aimed at controlling a second wave of infections spreading across the continent. Even Greece — one of the early European stars of the pandemic — has decided to shut down most of its economy as Covid-19 cases have spiked within its borders.
The UK has reported more than 1.1 million coronavirus cases so far and nearly 48,000 deaths.