The Prime Minister announced (Saturday 31st October) a second national lockdown, commencing Thursday 5th November and lasting until Wednesday 2nd December, requiring non-essential shops and hospitality to close.
In his speech, the Prime Minister said:
“From Thursday until the start of December, you must stay at home.
You may only leave home for specific reasons, including:
For education; For work, say if you cannot work from home; For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household or on your own with one person from another household; For medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm; To shop for food and essentials; And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.
I’m afraid non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will all be closed – though click and collect services can continue and essential shops will remain open, so there is no need to stock up.
Pubs, bars, restaurants must close except for takeaway and delivery services.
Workplaces should stay open where people can’t work from home – for example in the construction or manufacturing sectors.
Single adult households can still form exclusive support bubbles with one other household, and children will still be able to move between homes if their parents are separated.
If you are clinically vulnerable, or over the age of 60, you should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise your contacts with others.
I know how tough shielding was, and we will not ask people to shield again in the same way again. However we are asking those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to minimise their contact with others, and not to go to work if they are unable to work from home.
I am under no illusions about how difficult this will be for businesses which have already had to endure hardship this year. I am truly, truly sorry for that.
This is why we are also going to extend the furlough system through November. The furlough scheme was a success in the spring. It supported people and businesses in a critical time. We will not end it. We will extend it until December.
There will be some differences compared to March.
These measures above all will be time-limited, starting next Thursday 5 November. They will end on Wednesday 2 December, when we will seek to ease restrictions, going back into the tiered system on a local and regional basis according to the latest data and trends.
Christmas is going to be different this year, very different, but it is my sincere hope and belief that by taking tough action now, we can allow families across the country to be together.
My priority, our priority, remains keeping people in education – so childcare, early years settings, schools, colleges and universities will all remain open. Our senior clinicians still advise that school is the best place for children to be.
We cannot let this virus damage our children’s futures even more than it has already. I urge parents to continue taking their children to school and I am extremely grateful to teachers across the country for their dedication in enabling schools to remain open.
And it is vital that we will keep provision for non-Covid healthcare groups going.
So please – this is really important – unless your clinicians tell you otherwise, you should continue to use the NHS, get your scans, turn up for your appointments and pick up your treatments. If at all possible, we want you to continue to access these services, now and through the winter. Indeed it’s only by taking this action that we can protect the NHS for you.”