LONDON -- The British government says a new national lockdown in England may have to last longer than the planned four weeks if coronavirus infection rates don’t fall quickly enough.
The lockdown announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to run from Thursday until Dec. 2. Cabinet minister Michael Gove said Sunday it was the government’s “fervent hope” that the lockdown would end on time, but it could not be guaranteed.
Under the new restrictions, bars and restaurants can only offer take-out, non-essential shops must close and people must remain at home except for exercise and essential tasks.
Hairdressers, gyms, golf courses, swimming pools and bowling alleys also have to shut.
The U.K. is recording more than 20,000 new coronavirus infections a day, and government statisticians say the actual figure is likely far higher.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.