Boris Johnson has pleaded with Britons to stay home once more as he insisted that the country was in the “last phase of the struggle”. The Prime Minister announced that a third national lockdown for England would come into effect from Wednesday onwards. Despite the worrying rise in coronavirus cases, the British leader assured that the vaccine rollout program would help the alleviate the restrictions.
He said: “The weeks ahead will be the hardest yet, but I really do believe we’re entering the last phase of the struggle.
“With every jab that goes into our arms, we are tilting the odds against COVID and in favour of the British people.
“Thanks to the miracle of science not only is the end in sight but we know exactly how we will get there.
“But for now, I’m afraid, you must once again stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
The Prime Minister blamed the new variant of the virus, which has been confirmed as between 50 and 70 per cent more transmissible.
He explained that hospitals are now “under more pressure from Covid than at any time since the start of the pandemic”.
In England, the number of coronavirus hospitalisations 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.
The Prime Minister also announced that this lockdown would affect education.
He said: “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.
“We recognise that this will mean it is not possible or fair for all exams to go ahead this summer as normal. The Education Secretary will work with Ofqual to put in place alternative arrangements.
“We will provide extra support to ensure that pupils entitled to free school meals will continue to receive them while schools are closed, and we’ll distribute more devices to support remote education.”