England’s Second Lockdown

A new strain of Covid 19 in England has proved to be 50 to 70 percent more contagious. Also, compared to the last peak in England, there has been a rise in the number of patients by 40% in hospitals due to Covid 19. Sadly, on top of all that, deaths due to Covid have remained high lately in the UK (United Kingdom). The UK consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Specifically in England, in hopes of controlling the new strand and the rise of Covid cases, Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK, has enforced a third lockdown.

The lockdown has strict conditions. All schools will be closed, and kids will return to online classes with some exceptions. This rule applies to colleges as well. Also, you can only leave your home for a few reasons. These reasons include shopping for essentials, working (if working from home is not an option), going to the doctors for essential medical care, and exercise. The reinstatement of the lockdown also means different facilities will be closing. For example, sports venues like outside gyms, tennis courts, and golf courses.

There are arguments though from ministers that England can tighten up their Covid rules even more. A decision made specifically for the third lockdown was that early-year provisions would remain open. Early-year provisions include nurseries. This was different from the decision made in the lockdown during March where early-year provisions were closed with only slight exceptions. Another rule that has fallen under criticism is the rule allowing people to exercise with a friend. Of course, the rule says that the friends must social distance when exercising, but there have been sightings of this rule being broken. Finally, a third rule that has gotten criticism is the support bubbles. The idea of the support bubble is so people who might be living alone can mix with another household. The problem pointed out by critics is there is no part of the rule limiting how far people can travel even though it’s suggested to stay local. This can be problematic as people could go from a low risk infection zone to a high risk infection zone.

The Lockdown though is not the only action being taken to help England deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Johnson, in the whole UK over 1.3 millions people have been vaccinated. Going ahead, the government has ambitious plans. By mid February the government plans to have about 13 million people vaccinated. These people would include those who are over 70, front-line workers, and health care workers. A Covid 19 vaccine deployment minister named Nadhim Zahawi believes the government’s goal is attainable, by making a supportive statement on BBC Radio 4’ Today programme. With the Covid 19 rollout seeming so far successful throughout the UK and the lockdown taking place in England, there is hope when it comes to the future, and the Covid 19 pandemic.