UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown for England Monday night on the heels of a warning from top medical advisors that the country’s National Health Service was in danger of being overwhelmed by coronavirus cases within 21 days.
“It is clear that we need to do more to bring this new variant under control,” Johnson said. “That means the government is once again instructing you to stay at home.”
The lockdown is expected to remain in place at least through the middle of February.
Coronavirus cases are surging in the country due to the new variant, with 30% more Covid-19 patients in hospitals in England on Monday than a week earlier.
The announcement for England follows an announcement earlier Monday that Scotland would go into lockdown. Wales and Northern Ireland, the other two nations of the United Kingdom, were already in lockdown.