The Prime Minister has announced a new National Lockdown will come into force at 00:01 on 5th November.

At a press conference this afternoon the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced the latest series of measures put in place to control Covid-19. This follows quickly after several more areas, including Loughborough, entered Tier 2 restrictions.

The new restrictions are being mooted as a new ‘Tier 4’ lockdown and will initially be imposed for one month to the whole of England.

The new measures are:

  • All pubs and restaurants will close although take-aways will still be permitted
  • All non-essential retail outlets will be forced to close
  • Mixing of households indoors will be outlawed
  • International travel (except for work) will be banned and travel within the UK will be discouraged
  • Overnight stays away from home will only be permitted for work
  • Schools and universities will be exempt and encouraged to stay open

The new restrictions come amidst ever increasing cases at a national and local level and follows the advice of SAGE and the opposition leader Kier Starmer from earlier this month. The government has also laid out a plan for exiting this lockdown which will depend upon the prevalence of virus at the end of lockdown on a regional basis. This will determine which level of lockdown regions are permitted to enter (Tiers 1-3) once the national lockdown ends.

The UCU (Universities and Colleges Union) have called for all teaching to be moved online in the event of a national lockdown. UCU General Secretary Jo Grady said: ‘The health and safety of the country is being put at risk because of this government’s insistence that universities must continue with in-person teaching. Ministers must tell universities to move all non-essential in-person teaching online as part of any national lockdown.

A new Covid-19 testing centre has also opened on campus in response to the rising number of cases here. From Sunday the testing centre on Shirley Pearce Square (former location of the Socially Distanced Social Club on campus) will be open 7 days a week 8am-8pm.

Richard Taylor, Chief Operating Officer, wrote to students shortly after the announcement:

“Tonight, the Prime Minister announced further nationwide measures in response to current rates of Covid-19, that come into effect from Thursday 5th November. We are currently assessing the implications of these for the University’s operations but note his statement that schools and universities would remain open. We will write by the close of Monday with further information.

More to follow


Comments are closed.