Covid-19 restrictions in England affect nearly 56 million as infections surge

A national third lockdown came into force in England, it includes stay-at-home order and the closure of schools affecting nearly 56 million people.

All of the UK is now under strict virus curbs, with Wales, Northern Ireland and most of Scotland also in lockdown.

On Tuesday, the United Kingdom added 60,000 more coronavirus infections and 1041 deaths. It is estimated that one in every thirty households have had a confirmed case.

Between 27 December and 2 January,  more than one million people in England had Covid.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he had “no choice” but to impose the new lockdown, with the number of patients in hospitals 40% higher than in the first peak.

He would not guarantee that all children would be back in school before the summer holidays but insisted he was full of “optimism and fundamental hope” that things would be different in the spring.

The regulations, which allow the lockdown to be in place until the end of March.

Under the measures, people in England will only be able to go out for essential reasons, exercise outdoors will be allowed only once a day, and outdoor sports venues must close.

Meanwhile, Johnson said 1.3 million people in the UK had been vaccinated so far.

The government has set the target to immunise 13 million people – all over 70s, the most clinically vulnerable and front-line health and care workers by mid-February.