England will enter a new four-week lockdown to tackle rising infection rates, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday.
The lockdown, from November 5 to December 2, will mean all but essential shops closed and people should no longer meet family or friends indoors. Schools, universities and courts will remain open.
“Our hope was that, by strong local action, we could get the infection rates down,” Mr Johnson said. “As we’ve seen, we have to be humble in the face of the nature, and in this country the virus is spreading even faster than the worst case scenarios.”
He added: “Now is the time to take action because there is no alternative.”
Infection rate across large tracts of England is increasing and more people are being admitted to hospital.
“If we do nothing, the inevitable result will be that these numbers will go up and they will eventually exceed the peak we saw in spring of this year,” said Professor Chris Whitty, the UK’s chief medical adviser.
Outbound international travel will be banned, except for work, and travel within the UK will also be discouraged, except for work.
The UK also reached one million total cases on Saturday.