UK authorities have announced that a new nationwide lockdown is to go into effect in England from Thursday, November 5, amid an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country. The lockdown is to last until December 2. Non-essential businesses and the hospitality sector are to close and working from home is mandatory where possible. Workplaces where working from home is not possible have been asked to remain open. Mixing between households will be limited, with each member of a household permitted to meet one person in an outdoor setting, and individuals living alone as well as single parents may have a support bubble with another household. Despite the lockdown, schools, colleges, and universities are to remain open. Regions are to return to a three-tier lockdown system depending on case numbers from December 3.
Officials removed Cyprus and Lithuania from the government's safe travel list on Thursday, October 29, meaning those arriving from the affected countries must self-isolate for a period of 14 days. Travel restrictions differ between the devolved governments. Further information regarding travel restrictions can be found here for England, Scotland, and Wales.
In Wales, a two-week "firebreak" began on Friday, October 23, with people requested to stay at home and not mix with other households, most shops and secondary schools closed, and the wearing of face masks is compulsory in indoor public places and on public transportation. Meanwhile, authorities in Scotland intend to implement a five-tier lockdown system from November 2.
The wearing of face masks is mandatory in certain public areas, with fines for repeat offenders rising up to 3200 GBP (4175 USD). Further information regarding the wearing of face masks in the UK can be found here.
As of Saturday, October 31, there have been 1,014,793 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK with 46,645 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on the skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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