British Prime Minister Boris JohnsonBoris JohnsonBiden holds call with European leaders to talk Russia Illegal drugs being used in British Parliament buildings: report UK cracks down on travel as omicron concerns rise MORE announced on Saturday that England will enter into a second lockdown after the United Kingdom (U.K.) surpassed 1 million coronavirus cases.
The U.K.’s health department reported 21,915 cases on Saturday, bringing the nation’s total to 1,011,660 cases since the pandemic began.
Johnson was originally expected to announce the measures on Monday, according to the British Times. Before Johnson's announcement Saturday evening, a senior government official told the news outlet earlier in the day that no final decision had been made yet, but added that “the data is really bad.”
"We're seeing COVID-19 rising all over the country and hospitals are struggling to cope. There has been a shift in our position,” the source reportedly said.
Under the new lockdown, non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will be closed. Pubs, bars, and restaurants will only be open for takeout and delivery services.
People can only leave their homes if they cannot work for home, for education, to get food and essential items, and for outdoor exercise and recreation with that person’s household or with one person for another household.
People can also leave for medical reasons and to escape injury or harm, as well as to provide care for vulnerable people. Workplaces can also stay open where people cannot work from home, such as construction or manufacturing jobs.
The shutdown will go into effect on Thursday after a vote in Parliament next week, Johnson said, and will remain in effect until the start of December. The prime minister was hesitant to call for another lockdown as the U.K. economy is still recovering from the first lockdown in the spring.
The measures come as both France and Germany announced lockdowns on Wednesday as Europe experiences another wave of infections. The World Health Organization said on Thursday that Europe had once again become the epicenter of the pandemic.
There have been 10 million confirmed cases in the region since the pandemic began, according to the Associated Press.