Coronavirus news – live: England follows Scotland into third national lockdown and schools shut for weeks

Boris Johnson announces all schools to close in England England has entered its third national lockdown after Boris Johnson shut schools and imposed the toughest restrictions in March in an attempt to stem surging coronavirus infections. In a televised address to the nation yesterday evening, the prime minister ordered the country to stay indoors other than for limited exceptions and bowed to controversy to order primary schools, secondaries and colleges to remove to remote learning for the majority of students.

His decision came after Nicola Sturgeon imposed a lockdown on Scotland for the rest of January, which has a legal requirement for people to stay at home and closed schools to most pupils until February. Schools and colleges in Wales will also remain closed until at least 18 January and move to online learning, while in Northern Ireland – which is already under a six-week lockdown – “stay at home” restrictions will be brought back into law and a period of remote learning for schoolchildren is to be extended.

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Alcohol takeaways to be banned in England until mid-February

All restaurants, pubs and other hospitality settings must close their doors to customers from tomorrow under the new rules announced by the prime minister in a televised statement from 10 Downing Street, political editor Andrew Woodcock reports.  But in a tightening of the restrictions imposed under tier 4 of the PM’s regionalised system, while restaurants will be able to sell food and soft drinks for delivery, click-and-collect and takeaway, venues will no longer be able to serve takeaway or click-and-collect alcohol.

Samuel Osborne5 January 2021 08:28

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Labour leader backs new lockdown

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he will back the new national lockdown in England. When asked on BBC Breakfast if the new restrictions were what he had in mind when he called for another lockdown, Sir Keir said: “Yes, it is what we had in mind and we will back it. “It was inevitable we needed a national set of restrictions.

That’s why I called for it.” He said that it was now a race against time to ramp up the national vaccination programme. “We are in a race against time now.

We have got a contract with the British people to say these are tough restrictions, in return for that the government has got to roll out the vaccination programme at speed and accelerate that. “This is a huge challenge and I think we need to pull together.” Samuel Osborne5 January 2021 08:15

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Johnson ‘always late on lockdowns,’ Liberal Democrat leader says

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey has said Boris Johnson had developed a costly habit of being late to respond to expert advice on the need for a national lockdown.

He told BBC Breakfast: “I’m afraid this prime minister has a record now: he is always late on these lockdowns. “He was late on the first, he was late on the second, late on the third – and that’s because he ignores the advice of experts. “He ignored Cobra back last February, he ignored Sage (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) on 21 September, he ignored Sage again on 22 December.

“He always seems to put off the difficult decisions to the last minute and that means people end up paying the price, either with disruption to their lives or, in some cases, with their lives themselves. “I’m afraid that, yes we will support these measures, but we just wish the prime minister was rather more competent.” Samuel Osborne5 January 2021 08:02

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New lockdown to last until March and some restrictions for even longer, Michael Gove says

England’s new lockdown will continue until March and some restrictions will stay in place even longer, Michael Gove has said.

Just hours after Boris Johnson promised a mid-February review point, his key ally warned the public to expect the curbs to remain for longer, deputy political editor Rob Merrick reports.

Samuel Osborne5 January 2021 07:47

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Good morning and welcome to the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic as England enters its third national lockdown.

Samuel Osborne5 January 2021 07:43

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