Yesterday morning, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed a 6-week lockdown in England due to a surge in Covid-19 infections. Lockdown measures are like ones imposed last spring and include the closures of secondary and primary schools. CNN reported, people will be allowed to leave their homes for limited reasons like shopping for essentials, exercise and medical assistance. other businesses that will be shut down until at least mid-February include sports facilities, restaurants, bars, hair salons, gyms and theaters.
The lockdown comes after recent reports that the U.K. has seen new daily Covid-19 cases exceed 50,000 for nearly a week. Prime Minister Johnson stated that there were 30% more Covid-19 patients in hospitals than the previous week. The strain these cases are having on the hospitals and health care system should not go understated. The U.K. saw December reach a record number of 2,930 people having to wait over 12 hours or more for a hospital bed. Public health officials think the overall goal of this shutdown is to whether the storm until the National Health Service (NHS), rolls out their national vaccination program. The AP News reports, “As of Monday, the NHS had vaccinated 1.3 million people across the U.K. The government plans to have almost 1,000 vaccination centers operating across the country by the end of this week.”