Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Prime Minister announces new lockdown from 5 November

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Prime Minister announces new lockdown from 5 November

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, delivered a speech on 31 October 2020 announcing new restrictions for England from 5 November 2020 amid rising coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. From 5 November 2020, people may only leave their houses for limited reasons, including for education, work if not possible to do so from home, exercise or recreation alone or with members of your support bubble, medical reasons, shopping for essentials and caring for the vulnerable.

Key features of the new restrictions in England include:

• the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until December 2020

• food and drink venues may only open for takeaway and delivery

• the clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to minimise their contact with others, although shielding will not be reintroduced

• non-essential shops and venues will close

• single-adult households will still be able to form a support bubble with one other household, and children can move between homes of separated parents

• people cannot travel internationally or within the UK, unless for legally permitted exemptions

• public services (including courts) will remain open

• education settings will remain open

In his speech announcing the lockdown to the public, the Prime Minister stated that government will continue as far as possible to adopt a ‘ pragmatic and local approach in the months ahead’ and reminded the public that ‘we are not alone in what we’re going through. Our friends in Belgium, France and Germany have had to take very similar action’.

The Prime Minister presented the proposals in a statement to Parliament on 2 November 2020, followed by questions from MPs who will be asked to approve regulations setting out the latest restrictions on 4 November 2020, with the restrictions coming into effect the following day. During questioning, the Prime Minister confirmed that the restrictions will lapse on 2 December 2020 in any event, after which any further measures will be a matter for Parliament.

To view the commons transcript, see: Hansard, House of Commons, 2 November 2020.

See detailed guidance on the new national restrictions here.

Source: Prime Minister announces new national restrictions

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