Boris Johnson orders four-week national lockdown

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses a press conference in London to announce a new lockdown. Photo: RNZ


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered England back into a national lockdown to stem a resurgence of the coronavirus.


The lockdown will begin on Thursday (NZT Friday) and extend for four weeks until the start of December.


The United Kingdom has passed the milestone of one million Covid-19 cases with scientists warning the virus was spreading faster than their worst predictions.


The United Kingdom, which has the biggest official death toll in Europe from Covid-19, is grappling with more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases a day and scientists have warned the "worst case" scenario of 80,000 dead could be exceeded.


Johnson said the second national lockdown for England was to prevent a "medical and moral disaster" for the National Health Service.


He said Christmas may be "very different" but he hoped taking action now would mean families can gather.


Non-essential shops and hospitality will have to close for four weeks on Thursday and households will not be allowed to mix inside.


However, schools, colleges and universities can stay open.


After December 2, the restrictions would be eased and regions would go back to the tiered system, he said.


The measures apply to England. Other parts of the UK set their own public health measures, with Wales and Northern Ireland already effectively in lockdown and Scotland under a set of tough regional restrictions.


Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that for now people in Scotland should not travel to or from England, “except for essential purposes”.

"Christmas is going to be different this year, perhaps very different, but it's my sincere hope and belief that by taking tough action now we can allow families across the country to be together,” says Johnson.

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@ the narrow man.

Posted on 05-11-2020 18:27 | By morepork

You are simply wrong on SO many counts in your response. 1. 99% of Europeans are NOT fine; around 94% have not been affected YET. 2. Densely populated countries CAN do a proper lockdown; look at India. 3. Trump has NOT won yet and indications are that he won’t... Apart from that, we all know that lockdowns are difficult for economies and mentally unhealthy to some people, and I have never suggested otherwise. However, if you want to eradicate or seriously inhibit spread of the virus, the science tells us that effective lockdown is the best way we have to do so currently. It has nothing to do with your right wing paranoia about your rights being trodden down; you have NO right to make other people sick with your ignorance.

Go Trump

Posted on 04-11-2020 17:25 | By

Trump winning just highlights the fact that Pappy and friends don’t get it. You have to realise that in Europe, US and beyond it is so prevalent and 99% of people are fine that they aren’t frightened any more. The left wing do gooding finger wagging holier than thou are just white noise to the majority. Get it yet? P.S. even the WHO said a couple of weeks ago that lockdowns are harmful to mental health and economies. Get it yet?


Posted on 04-11-2020 14:42 | By

Very simplistic to suggest that by the time they get it billions of dollars will have been wasted. The pandemic will cost billions regardless of the path followed. They have chosen a different path because a) they think this will cost less than total shutdowns, and b) because elimination is impossible for densely populated countries. There are some very big economies out there that need to support hundreds of millions of people. It’s not some cottage garden economy that can shut for a few weeks with little impact. They are envious of NZ and it’s uniqueness in terms of geography and population size and density. But it’s horses for courses old boy and they get that even if you don’t. There are hundreds of millions in Europe & America et al who just want to get on with it. You’re in the minority and no expert on anything.

@Slim Shady

Posted on 04-11-2020 13:02 | By morepork

Unfortunately, "leaving it to the Big fulla" does not just affect THEIR life, it also affects the lives of others who may have no such confidence in the Big fulla. As for taking advice from NZ, many countries recognize that we have done well, and are continuing to do so, but politically and economically, they are not prepared to follow our example and do what’s required. They simply don’t get it...yet. And by the time they do, there will have been billions of dollars wasted. It’s sad.


Posted on 03-11-2020 14:19 | By

Pretty much all of Europe is doing the same. As is the US, Brazil and India. But I am sure all those countries with their health and economic experts would welcome your advice. Maybe you could tweet them or send them some No8 wire.

Pray for help

Posted on 03-11-2020 14:04 | By

It’s ironic that on other stories you mention God gives and takes life, yet here you criticise people for expressing their freedoms and beliefs. Maybe those that defy lockdowns are in the God squad and are just happy to leave it to the big fulla to decide their fate? Hahaha.


Posted on 03-11-2020 12:26 | By morepork

Sadly, you are right and we saw how ONE family could immobilize 1.6 million people. I think the penalties need to be stiffer and enforcement needs to be stronger, now that we all know how important this is, should we need to go back into full lockdown (Hopefully, we won’t, but at least we know we are capable of it.) In the U.K, though, they are trying to take a less "painful" path than total lockdown and that is what prompted my comment that they still don’t get it. I hope what they are doing works, but common sense tells me it is not going to be as effective as a REAL full lockdown.

@ morepork

Posted on 02-11-2020 21:58 | By

Totally agree with you but unfortunately as we know only too well even if a full lockdown is instigated there’s absolute idiots that believe it’s a breach of their rights, organize and participate in protests, run around with total disregard for others and they’re the ones that’ll stand up when a loved one is taken and blame everyone else and the Government for not doing enough to enforce it.

They still don't get it.

Posted on 02-11-2020 12:51 | By morepork

If schools and Universities are open it is not a "lockdown". There is still too much consideration being given to families and the economy. Nobody WANTS a lockdown, but, as we found here, if a lockdown is to be effective, it has to BE a lockdown. By the time they come through this half-arsed effort, they will need another REAL lockdown and it will be costing far more than it needed to. The people and the Government ALL need to recognize that the ONLY way to stifle the spread of Covid is by PROPER lockdown so that the virus simply CANNOT be passed around. I have a soft spot for the UK, having lived there for around 10 years, and it is really sad to see this situation. I hope it works for them but I have my doubts...