LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a new national lockdown for England until at least mid-February to combat a fast-spreading new version of the coronavirus.
Johnson said people must stay at home again, as they were ordered to do so in the first wave of the pandemic in March, this time because the new virus variant was spreading in a “frustrating and alarming” way.
He said Monday that hospitals are under more pressure from COVID than at any time since the start of the pandemic.
Under the new rules, which are set to come into effect as soon as possible, primary and secondary schools and colleges will be closed for face to face learning except for the children of key workers.
More than 30 countries have announced cases of the UK variant of the coronavirus, including a handful of U.S. states.
The coronavirus vaccine created by AstraZeneca and Oxford University was recently approved in the UK and is being rolled out Monday.