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England faces new lockdown as COVID-19 cases pass 1 million threshold

Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered England back into a national lockdown on Saturday as a massive second wave of coronavirus infections threatened to overwhelm the health service. Shops deemed non-essential, as well as leisure and entertainment venues, will be closed through December.

Published October 31,2020

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a new monthlong lockdown for England after being warned that a resurgent coronavirus outbreak will overwhelm hospitals in weeks without tough action.

Johnson said in a televised news conference on Saturday that the new measures will begin Thursday and last until Dec. 2. He said without them, "we could see deaths in this country running at several thousand a day."

Bars and restaurants can only offer takeout, non-essential shops must close and people will only be able to leave home for a short list of reasons including exercise.

Unlike during the U.K.'s first lockdown earlier this year, schools, universities, construction sites and manufacturing businesses will stay open.

Johnson had hoped a set of regional restrictions would be enough to contain the virus, but government scientific advisers predict that on the outbreak's current trajectory, demand for hospital beds will soon exceed capacity.