Crossing the one million mark of coronavirus cases has prompted England to go in for a second lockdown which will be effective for a period of one month starting Thursday till December 2nd. The announcement was made on Saturday by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who also contracted the COVID-19 a few months ago and recovered from it. “We must act now to contain the autumn surge.” Said Boris Johnson in a press conference on Saturday.
The decision to go in for a lockdown was taken as rising cases would result in overwhelming the National Health Service(NHS), which the country experienced during the first wave of infections. Also scientists have warned of the situation possibly going out of hand if a lockdown is not imposed. 21,915 new coronavirus cases and 326 deaths were reported on Saturday, with a total of 1,011,660 cases and 46,555 deaths so far.
Non-essential establishments which include pubs, restaurants, beauty saloons and gyms will be shut. However, schools, universities and playgrounds will remain open along with functioning of essential services. The government is discouraging non-essential travel though people will still be able to travel, provided quarantine rules are followed.
England joins other countries in Europe like France, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Italy and Spain to impose restrictions for a second time, to curb the virus spread.
National restrictions will apply in England from 5 November until 2 December.
You must stay at home, with a limited set of exemptions.
After 4 weeks we will look to return to a local and regional approach, based on the latest data.
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) October 31, 2020
Here is a look at other European countries and restrictions imposed:
France will be under complete lockdown until December 1st. People will be allowed to leave the house only to buy essential goods, medicines and to exercise for half an hour a day. An attestation form needs to be filled out while leaving the house. People can venture out upto a 1 km radius of their houses. Non-essential businesses will close down as a result. However, schools and creches will remain open and care homes will be functional. France has reported 1,36,000 coronavirus cases and 36,788 deaths so far.
This European country goes in for a four week partial lockdown starting November 2nd. Pubs will remain closed while restaurants will remain open for takeaways. Shops will remain open with restrictions. However, only one person per 10 square metres of shop floor will be permitted. Gyms, cinemas and theatres will shut down, along with hotels who have tourists. Indoor gatherings are permitted but limited to 10 people and can include no more than two households. Schools, nurseries and day care centres will remain open. Germany reported more than 5,32,000 cases and 10,483 deaths.
Though Belgium reported higher cases in the second wave, the country has gone in for a partial lockdown like Germany. A week earlier, restaurants and pubs were shut with only restaurants remaining open for takeaways. Selling of alcohol is banned post 8:00pm. The Belgium government encouraged work from home, unless going to workplaces is absolutely necessary. Non-essential services like hair-saloons, gyms, swimming pools and cultural facilities remain shut. Only 1-2 persons will be allowed into homes for close contact and home gatherings are limited at four persons. The number of coronavirus cases stands at 4,13,000 while the death toll is 11, 452.
Not a complete lockdown, but month long restrictions were imposed in Italy since October 26th. While schools and workplaces remain open, bars and restaurants will shut post 6:00pm. Gyms, swimming pools, theatres and cinemas are shut while museums remain open. Public gatherings like weddings, funerals and baptism are banned. The COVID-19 cases stand at 6,79,000 and death toll is 38,618.
Month long restrictions will be imposed throughout November, which means restaurants will remain open only for takeaways while bars, cafes, cinemas and gyms will remain shut. A curfew has been imposed from midnight to 5:00am. Travel within the country is not affected and retail stores will remain open. The government is encouraging online educational classes. The coronavirus cases stand at 39,252 while deaths reported are 626.
Starting October 25th, Spain imposed a nationwide curfew from 11:00pm to 6:00am for 15 days. This could be extended further. People are allowed to step out to go to work, buy medicines and essential items or to extend care to someone at their homes. More than six persons cannot be present in a gathering. Spain reported 1.19 million cases and 35,878 cases so far.