By Luthien Evans | News Editor
COVID cases have been increasing in England, causing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to make the decision to head into a month-long lockdown in England. This is set to span from November 5 and lasting until December 2.
Johnson had previously hoped local lockdowns would suffice in lowering cases but with new scientific advisory measures call for a national approach. The national lockdown comes weeks after scientific advisers suggested to undergo ‘firebreak’ lockdowns spanning the half term break to prevent further spreading, as well as minimising the loss of education for pupils.
Under new lockdown measures, it will resort to the rules of the March lockdown in England. However, this time schools, universities and construction sites can remain open, with social distancing being enforced throughout.
Bars and restaurants can still provide takeaway services. All other nonessential shops and services must close for the lockdown period, much like in March. Many other daily activities are to be halted, exercise and essential shopping are on a list of essential activities.
Protection for protesters has also been removed from the list, aggravating many activists. The removal of the exemption would make it hard to form a protest.
Wales is exempt from the lockdown rules and the new Johnson-enforced lockdown due to Wales already having gone through with the firebreaker. Wales is set to come out of the lockdown on November 9.
The lockdown news came after the announcement that the UK has hit one million confirmed positive coronavirus cases. The month-long lockdown is said to be utilised to slow the rate of infection to ease the pressure on the NHS. Many hospitals have now reached full capacity of their intensive care beds, this is the case in Belfast. The Nightingale Hospital in Manchester is also being utilised to house further intensive care cases.
Wales is currently erecting a 400-bed facility for coronavirus patients on the grounds of University Hospital of Wales. This is as the Dragon’s Heart Hospital, previously on the grounds of the Principality Stadium, has been decommissioned.
All establishments in Wales will be permitted to reopen, from bars to gyms to cafes. Further changes show that up to 15 people will be able to meet indoors and 30 people for outdoor organised events. Travel over the Welsh border will be permitted despite the lockdown, due to work being classified as essential.