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PM Johnson orders third national lockdown as UK registers record Covid-19 cases

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England entered a new national lockdown, it’s third since the pandemic began, until at least mid-February when vulnerable groups should be vaccinated against Covid-19, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Monday.

Describing the move as part of “a great national effort to fight Covid,” Johnson declared the nationwide lockdown with severe restrictions akin to South Africa’s level 5.

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By that time, mid-February, Johnson said “if things go well and with a fair wind,” all of Britain’s frontline health and social care workers, the elderly, and clinically vulnerable will be vaccinated.

The weeks ahead will be the hardest yet. But we are entering the final phase. The end is in sight.”

Record cases

The declaration came as the UK recorded 58,784 new cases of the virus – the country’s highest daily increase to date, and the seventh day in a row that it has registered more than 50,000 new infections.

The PM announced the enhanced Covid curbs in a televised national address from Downing Street, saying parts of the county not already subject to Tier 4 restrictions would now be subject to these as well. 

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier announced that Scotland would enter a national lockdown at midnight on Monday, with the public ordered by law to “stay at home.”

MPs will most likely be recalled to the House of Commons on Wednesday to vote on the new restrictions for England, although they will likely do so virtually.

They have been urged not to attend in person unless absolutely necessary. 

Public Health England’s medical director Dr. Yvonne Doyle earlier urged people to continue adhering to health measures, including wearing face masks and practicing social distancing measures.

“The continuous rise in cases and deaths should be a bitter warning for us all.”

The UK reported a further 407 fatalities Monday (within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test) taking the total death toll to 75,431, according to official government data.

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