The Prime Minister has announced a national lockdown in response to rising case numbers across the UK, to take affect from midnight tonight.
In his address to the nation this evening (Monday 4 January), Mr Johnson instructed people to stay at home and only to leave their house for essential reasons, such as shopping, working (if not possible to work from home), exercise, medical assistance, and to escape domestic abuse at home.
He advised that people identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable must begin shielding, and like last time, they will receive a letter from the government or their GP in coming days with further guidance.
Primary and secondary schools and colleges are to move to remote learning from tomorrow (Tuesday 5 January), except for children who are vulnerable or whose parents are key workers. Children eligible for free school meals will continue to receive assistance, and the government will provide devices to aid pupils’ remote learning.
Everyone is asked to follow the new rules from now, and they will become law from 00.01 on Wednesday. Parliament will sit, largely remotely, on Wednesday to debate and vote on the measures.
Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon (Designate) said:
“Devon residents have done well over the Christmas and New Year period to help prevent the sharp rise in positive cases that many other parts of the country are currently experiencing. While case numbers here in Devon are relatively low compared to many parts of the country, we are still seeing cases rise.
“The new strain of coronavirus is exceptionally good at spreading between people, which is why the government is imposing new national restrictions requiring everyone to stay at home as much as possible and to minimise their time with others, except those in their immediate household or bubble.
“The vaccination programme, although now starting to be delivered to priority groups, will take a time to reach everyone. While its arrival and roll out is very positive news, we must not wait for it, nor rely on it alone.
“Right now, I ask everyone to pull together and to follow the new national lockdown restrictions, the details of which we will learn more about over the next day or so.
“Please, stay at home and only go out when you need to, and minimise your contact with other people. If you must be outside, please continue to follow social distancing rules, wear a face covering in public places, and wash your hands properly and regularly.
“For parents of school-age children and college students, please look out for guidance from your schools or colleges regarding their plans for remote learning.”