After introducing Tier 4 restrictions in London and southeast England due to a new COVID-19 strain, the British government decided to enact a full national lockdown for a third time to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The new quarantine will last at least until the middle of February, according to a statement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. This is what the new lockdown means for Britons
- non-essential shops will be closed;
- household mixing is prohibited;
- people are only allowed to leave home for work, childcare, and medical reasons;
- schools will be closed;
- outdoor exercises are recommended to be limited to once a day. Indoor and outdoor sports venues will have to be closed;
- people should leave home for work only if it is absolutely necessary for them (like in the construction industry);
- university students will have to study remotely, as campuses are closed;
- restaurants (already closed for dining under Tiers 3 and 4) will be banned from sending takeaway alcohol;
- weddings and civil ceremonies will be restricted to 6 people and only allowed in "exceptional circumstances". The limit at funerals is still 30, but wakes and other ceremonies are also restricted to 6 guests.
The measures were announced despite the roll-out of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday - the second in the country following the UK launching a mass vaccination campaign with the Pfizer/BioNTech medication in December.