Source: CNN
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  • U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has placed England into its third lockdown as a new strain of COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly
  • Under the lockdown, everyone must stay home until mid-February, with schools and colleges to also remain closed
  • Residents will only be allowed to leave their homes for essential medical needs, grocery shopping, work and exercise
  • The lockdown comes as a new strain of the coronavirus, which is considered to be vastly more infectious, sweeps across Britain
  • More than 50,000 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded every day for the last week, placing the National Health Service (NHS) under extreme pressure
  • The PM said this lockdown will protect the NHS, which was dealing with more patients “than at any time since the start of the pandemic”

Residents across England have been forced into their third major lockdown as a new strain of COVID-19 continues to rapidly spread across the country.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown news on Monday, with the new rules to come into effect in the early hours of Wednesday.

Under the lockdown, everyone will be asked to stay home until mid-February, with schools and colleges to also remain closed.

Residents will only be allowed to leave their homes for essential medical needs, food shopping, work and exercise.

The third lockdown comes as a new strain of the coronavirus continues to plague residents across the country, with case numbers spiking sharply.

Source: The U.K. Government

The new strain is considered to be vastly more infectious than the original coronavirus, which began hitting the U.K. and the rest of the globe early in 2020.

As a result, more than 50,000 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded across the United Kingdom every day for the last week.

“It has been both frustrating and alarming to see the speed with which the new variant is spreading,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

“Our scientists have confirmed this new variant is between 50 and 70 per cent more transmissible — that means you are much, much more likely to catch the virus and to pass it on,” the PM added.

Boris Johnson also confirmed the National Health Service was under “more pressure from COVID than at any time since the start of the pandemic.”

The PM stated that the third lockdown was desperately needed to alleviate pressure on the NHS.

“In England alone, the number of COVID patients in hospitals has increased by nearly a third in the last week, to almost 27,000,” he said.

“That number is 40 per cent higher than the first peak in April,” the Prime Minister explained.

On a more positive note, Boris Johnson said the country’s vaccination program was progressing well — with more people vaccinated in the U.K. than all of Europe combined.

A recent study published by Oxford University’s Our World in Data also found the U.K. had the third-highest rate of COVID-19 vaccines administered for every 100 people, trailing Israel and Bahrain.

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