Back under full lockdown

The whole country will be under Tier 5 COVID restrictions from midnight.

With the new variant of the virus as much as 70% more transmissible, and the risk of healthcare services being overwhelmed, the Prime Minister tonight said that the new national lockdown means people must work from home if they can.

Primary and secondary schools and colleges will be closed to most pupils and will offer remote learning until February half-term at least. Only the children of critical workers and those who are vulnerable can attend school.

Boris Johnson said he hoped that those in the top four health priority groups would receive a first vaccine dose by mid-February and that restrictions could start to be lifted then.