UK PM Announces Full Lockdown In England Amid Rising Covid Cases

13 Janvier, 2021, 23:48 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Education Secretary Gavin Williamson

Also on Wednesday, the United Kingdom reported a further 1,041 coronavirus-related deaths, the highest ingle-day spike since April 2020, official figures showed. On Monday, hospitals in England were treating 26,626 COVID-19 patients, 40% more than during the first peak in mid-April. The figure is up 22% on a week ago.

Mr Johnson in a nationwide broadcast said, "It is clear that we need to do more to bring this new variant under control".

University students will not return for classes until at least mid-February.

Examination boards will instead use teachers' estimated grades, as was the case in 2020, although they will not be using the grades standardisation algorithm which caused such controversy previous year.

Both vaccines require two shots, but British authorities chose to delay the second shot - shifting the timeline for administering the booster from 21 days after the first to up to 12 weeks later - in order to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible.

Claiming that he did not believe lockdown would last the full length, the prime minister said: "As was the case last Spring, our emergence from the lockdown cocoon will not be a Big Bang, but a gradual unwrapping".

Following a four-hour debate in the House of Commons, the lower house of parliament, MPs on Wednesday evening approved the lockdown by 524 votes to 16, reports Xinhua news agency.

He promised " maximum possible transparency" around the vaccine rollout with 180 new GP and 100 further hospital vaccine sites to make 1,000 vaccination sites across the country by the end of this week.

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The UK has already vaccinated over one million people, while Johnson has said all those most at risk - some 13 million people - could be vaccinated by mid-February. "Because with every jab that goes into our arms, we are tilting the odds against COVID and in favour of the British people".

Mr Johnson is expected in Parliament to deliver his statement at 11.30am.

Seven mass vaccination centres will also open next week in London, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Surrey and Stevenage.

Boris Johnson will hold a coronavirus press conference in Downing Street on Thursday.

However, the government says it plans to review the lockdown including the closure of schools and non-essential shops in mid-February. Whilst a third lockdown is not ideal for anyone, it is necessary to protect the NHS until the most vulnerable can be vaccinated.

"It's been a huge shambles", Robert Halfon, chairman of the House of Commons' education committee, told the BBC.

There are nearly 1,000 vaccination sites standing ready across the country, according to the government. In England, we are going to install a national lockdown which is tough enough to contain this new variant.

But he added "this is not just bad luck, it's not inevitable, it follows a pattern" of the Government being slow to respond.

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