The Prime Minister set out the new national lockdown earlier this evening. I have shared the section of his address setting out the key reasons for this and what it means below.
I know these are bleak times, but the vaccination programme does offer us hope - the PM also announced that by the middle of February, we expect to have offered the first vaccine dose to everyone in the four top priority groups identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
That means vaccinating all residents in a care home for older adults and their carers, everyone over the age of 70, all frontline health and social care workers, and everyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.
As always if you have any questions please email me at:
These are difficult times but we now must work together and follow the rules:
🏡 STAY AT HOME
💙 PROTECT THE NHS
👨👩👧👦 SAVE LIVES
EXTRACT FROM PRIME MINISTER'S ADDRESS:
In England alone, the number of Covid patients in hospitals has increased by nearly a third in the last week, to almost 27,000.
That number is 40 per cent higher than the first peak in April.
On 29 December, more than 80,000 people tested positive for Covid across the UK – a new record.
The number of deaths is up by 20 per cent over the last week and will sadly rise further. My thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones.
With most of the country already under extreme measures, it is clear that we need to do more, together, to bring this new variant under control while our vaccines are rolled out.
In England, we must therefore go into a national lockdown which is tough enough to contain this variant.
That means the Government is once again instructing you to stay at home. You may only leave home for limited reasons permitted in law, such as to shop for essentials, to work if you absolutely cannot work from home, to exercise, to seek medical assistance such as getting a Covid test, or to escape domestic abuse.
The full details on what you can and can’t do are available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, we are advising you to begin shielding again and you will shortly receive a letter about what this means for you.
And because we now have to do everything we possibly can to stop the spread of the disease, primary schools, secondary schools and colleges across England must move to remote provision from tomorrow, except for vulnerable children and the children of key workers.
Everyone will still be able to access early years settings such as nurseries.