England poised for second lockdown as protests and soaring infections sweep Europe


They would mean people in England will be allowed to leave home only for specific reasons, including for education; for work if someone can not work from home; for exercise and recreation outdoors within 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.

Meanwhile, Greece, where a new peak of 1,690 new Covid-19 cases was recorded on Friday, said it will expand a night-time curfew on movement and shut restaurants and bars in the most populous areas of the country for one month from Tuesday to contain a resurgence in cases.

Unlike last time, the schools and educational establishments such as universities are going to remain open. Britain's official death toll from the coronavirus is 46,555, the highest in Europe, with 326 new deaths announced Saturday.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Saturday that for now people in Scotland should not travel to or from England, "except for essential purposes". "I'm afraid non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will all be closed, though, click and collect services, will continue and essential shops will remain open".

Any new lockdown will need Parliament's approval in a vote scheduled for Wednesday. "I am isolating at home while I wait for the results of the test", she said on Twitter. A broader measure of those with COVID-19 on their death certificates puts the toll at 58,925.

People wearing protective face masks walk across Westminster Bridge, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in London, Britain, October 22, 2020.

The change of policy came on the day the United Kingdom passed one million confirmed COVID-19 cases, with the total rising by 21,915 on Saturday and the death toll increasing by 326.

UK government mulling lockdown for England

That takes all holidays overseas off the table during this period, as well as staycations, given overnight stays away from home are not permitted.

People have been told they should work from home unless unable to do so, and have been urged not to take unnecessary journeys.

The change in policy from the current three-tier system of region-by-region and city-by-city graded restrictions was prompted by fears of the National Health Service (NHS) being overwhelmed by a combination of a new coronavirus surge and the annual winter flu season.

The Sunday Mirror, however, calls the move "Shockdown", adding the government's delay in implementing it will cost lives, and cites Labour's Sir Keir Starmer as saying the public will pay the price of the PM's "failures".

The list of countries on the continent re-implementing stringent new restrictions on people's lives is fast expanding as Europe experiences a dizzying spike in Covid-19 cases, leading to widespread exasperation and sometimes violent protests.

Takeaways will be allowed to stay open as pubs, bars and restaurants close and people are being told they can only meet one person from outside their household outdoors.

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