RESIDENTS have been urged to stay at home as England was put into a national lockdown by the Prime Minister last night (Monday).
As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise, people have been told they can only leave home to go to work if they cannot work from home, to exercise, to buy food and essentials, to seek medical support and to escape domestic abuse, writes Maria Zaccaro of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
Primary and secondary schools as well as colleges will move to online learning but will remain open for vulnerable pupils and children of key workers.
It comes only days after The New Forest and Christchurch was moved into Tier 4 restrictions.
Addressing the nation on TV, Boris Johnson said: “We should remain conscious of the timetable ahead but if our understanding of the virus doesn’t change dramatically once again, if the rollout of the vaccine programme continues to be successful, if deaths start to fall as the vaccine takes effect and if everyone plays their part by following the rules, then I hope we can steadily move out of lockdown, reopening schools after the February half term and starting to move regions down the tiers.”
Those deemed “clinically extremely vulnerable” (CEV) will also have to start shielding again.
The measures come as the new variant of Covid-19 spreading across the country is believed to be between 50% and 70% more transmissible than the original one.
Residents across Hampshire have been urged to follow the rules, with county council leader Cllr Keith Mans saying: “Over the past seven days, we have seen the number of positive cases rise substantially.
“This is of huge concern as the virus transmits increasingly quickly through our communities. The decision to impose further restrictions on the population cannot have been an easy one, but is regrettably the only immediate action currently available to help slow the spread of the virus in the near future.
“Now more than ever we must work together to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our communities safe.”