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UK PM announces month-long lockdown in England

London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England will enter a month-long lockdown from Nov 5.

“Now is the time to take action because there is no alternative,” Johnson said in a virtual press conference at Downing Street, Xinhua news agency reported.

The prime minister’s announcement came just hours after official figures showed that Britain’s confirmed coronavirus cases surge past the one million mark.

“From Thursday (Nov 5) until the start of December you must stay at home, you may only leave home for specific reasons,” he said in the live broadcasted news conference.

Under the new measures, which will be effective until December 2, people in England will only be allowed to leave their homes for specific reasons, such as education, work or food shopping, said Johnson.

Pubs, bars and restaurants will close across the country except for takeaways. Non-essential shops, hairdressers and leisure and entertainment venues will also be shut, he said.

Schools, colleges and universities will remain open, the prime minister said, adding that those who cannot work from home, such as construction or manufacturing workers, will be encouraged to continue going to their workplaces.

Meanwhile, different households will be banned from mixing, although support bubbles and childcare bubbles will remain. Gyms will be shut but people can continue to exercise outdoors, at most with one person from another household, Johnson announced.

The restrictions would be eased after December 2.

Earlier on Nov 5, official figures showed that another 21,915 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 1,011,660.

The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 326 to 46,555, the data showed.

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