Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, has announced a new lockdown in the UK. It will not begin to be lifted until March, a British government minister warned on January 5.
“As we enter (the month of) March, we should be able to lift some of these restrictions, but not necessarily all of them,” Michael Gove, responsible for coordinating government action, warned on Sky News.
Read also: Covid: vaccination has started in the United Kingdom
The modalities of confinement
The population is only allowed to go out for essential reasons, such as shopping or for medical reasons. As during the first confinement in the spring and unlike the second in November, the schools closed and switched to distance education from January 5.
With more than 75,000 dead, the United Kingdom is one of the countries in Europe most bereaved by the Covid-19 and the trend has worsened in recent weeks. The contaminations published each day exceed 50,000, and were even close to 59,000 on Monday. “It is clear that we must do more,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson on January 4, announcing the total reconfinement of England.
Scotland, in the north of the island of Great Britain, is thus entering its first day of total containment, with there also the closure of schools. The other two provinces of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and Wales, had already instituted their third confinement just after Christmas.
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The vaccine hope
“We will do everything we can to ensure that as many people as possible are vaccinated, so that we can start to gradually lift the restrictions,” he said.
Faced with the alarming progression of the new variant of the virus, 50 to 70% more contagious according to British scientists, and the risk of submersion of the health system, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has extended the containment already applied to three quarters of the population English to the whole province and hardened it. Schools, left open until now, have closed.
What vaccination strategy?
By mid-February, authorities hope to have vaccinated all people over 70 as well as caregivers, or around 13 million people most at risk, thanks to an acceleration of the vaccination campaign that began on December 8. and now conducted with two vaccines, Pfizer / BioNTech and AstraZeneca / Oxford.
“The more effective the vaccination program (…), the easier it will be to lift these restrictions”, insisted the minister, announcing “very, very difficult weeks to come”. Legally, containment is to go into effect on January 6 at 12:01 a.m., but Boris Johnson called on the population to follow the rules immediately. Parliament will debate it on January 6.