England going into second coronavirus lockdown lasting four weeks

Oct 31, 2020

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce a national lockdown going into effect on Thursday, Nov. 5 and lasting through Dec. 2, 2020. This is the second lockdown England will endure since the coronavirus pandemic peaked in April. This news follows a report of 21,915 new coronavirus cases recorded in the UK, surpassing 1 million cases in total since the pandemic began.

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This news was compounded by a Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) report showing the UK’s daily infection rate of 43,000-74,000 cases per day has surpassed “worst-case scenario” expectations of 12,000-13,000.

In addition, the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M) projects daily deaths peaking at 4,000 in December 2021 unless new measures are implemented. All of this data has influenced Johnson’s decision to implement a strict lockdown to get the pandemic under control.

How England’s lockdown impacts travel

As part of the month-long lockdown, all non-essential shops and businesses will be required to shut down while schools, universities and offices that can’t accommodate work-from-home will remain open. Affected businesses include business focused on leisure and entertainment. Restaurants and bars will be required to close unless they can offer takeout.

People won’t be allowed to leave their homes, except for work, school, exercise, to shop for essentials, seek medical care and provide care for others.

All foreign travel will be banned, along with non-essential domestic travel. Essential reasons include travel for business and to care for relatives. Any tourists in the country will need to leave or risk being stuck in England until the lockdown is lifted.

Related: A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery

How this impacts Wales and Scotland

While England goes into a month-long lockdown, Wales is still set to end its own two-week “firebreak” on November 9.

The firebreak consisted of stay-at-home orders and closing of restaurants, bars and non-essential businesses like hotels and beauty salons. The Welsh Government will announce post-firebreak rules on Sunday.

Scotland currently advises against non-essential travel to England and, starting November 2, will implement a five-level restriction system. This system assigns varying restrictions to each region, depending on the severity of cases.

Related: Airline coronavirus change and cancellation policies: A complete list of major carriers

Bottom line

As the pandemic enters its second wave and case numbers rise throughout Europe, lockdowns like the one implemented in England are likely to become the norm. Both France and Germany have announced their own national lockdowns in an effort to slow the spread of the virus during the winter months.

For eager travelers hoping to travel to Western Europe, most countries will continue to be off-limits until at least 2021.

Featured photo by ZGPhotography/Shutterstock

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