Have your say: Do you agree with England's second national lockdown?

MPs to vote on new Covid lockdown for England

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that there is "no alternative" but to impose a second England-wide lockdown as he tabled his proposals to curb the surge in coronavirus cases before members of Parliament.

After persisting for weeks with local and regional restrictions, Johnson announced at the weekend that a new nationwide lockdown would come into force from Thursday and end on December 2.

The restrictions, which will remain in place until 2 December, include the closure of all non-essential businesses including pubs, restaurants and gyms, a ban on households mixing, and curbs on non-essential travel. Per Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, elite sport, "can continue to be played behind closed doors".

Mr Johnson defended his decision, telling MPs: "The modelling presented by our scientists suggests that without action, we could see up to twice as many deaths over the winter as we saw in the first wave. I am truly sorry for the anguish these rules will cause businesses", Johnson said, as he thanked his senior Cabinet minister and Downing Street neighbour, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, for his "creativity" in coming up with support packages to help businesses through the crisis.

MPs will vote on the measures in the House of Commons on Wednesday after prime minister Boris Johnson insisted the lockdown will only last a month.

He said: "Doctors and nurses could be forced to choose which patients to treat, who would live and who would die", posing what he called an "existential threat" to the health service.

The Labour leader warned that the "human cost" of a growing daily death rate was a result of Mr Johnson being "behind the curve" at every stage.

Mr Johnson's spokesman made clear that means MPs will get a vote on the "proposed way forward".

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Earlier in the day, a scientist advising the Government said "thousands of lives" would have been saved if a two-week "circuit-breaker" was imposed when it was recommended by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) on September 21. A government program that financially assists furloughed employees will be extended during the new lockdown, said the Prime Minister.

In a joint open letter, the chief constables of Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria said they would particularly target those organising music events or other large gatherings, and those who refuse to self-isolate.

People will only be be allowed to exercise and socialise in outdoor public spaces with their household or one other person.

And Sir Graham Brady, the influential chair of the Tories' 1922 Committee, said: "If these kinds of measures were being taken in any totalitarian country around the world, we would be denouncing it as a form of evil".

He warned that COVID-19 is "doubling faster than we could conceivably add capacity" to the health service.

The measures apply to England.

However, schools, colleges and universities can stay open.

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