Is England going into a third national lockdown?

4 January 2021, 15:25 | Updated: 4 January 2021, 15:38

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Boris Johnson is coming under increasing pressure to introduce a third national lockdown amid a continued surge in coronavirus cases.

The prime minister confirmed earlier on Monday that tougher measures will be announced "in due course" to combat the spread of Covid-19.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon later said Scotland will enter a second national lockdown from midnight, meaning a legal stay-at-home order will be in place across the country.

Shortly after, it was confirmed that Mr Johnson will be making a televised address to the nation at 8pm before Parliament is recalled on Wednesday to discuss any new restrictions.

So is England heading for another national lockdown? And what time is Boris Johnson making an announcement?

What has the government said about another lockdown?

Speaking during a visit to Chase Farm Hospital in north London on Monday, the prime minister said there were "tough, tough" weeks to come.

"If you look at the numbers there's no question we will have to take tougher measures and we will be announcing those in due course," he added.

It was later confirmed that Mr Johnson will be making a televised address to the nation at 8pm, during which he is expected to announce further lockdown measures.

Earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock suggested on LBC that many areas of England in Tier 3 would have to be moved to Tier 4.

Speaking on Nick Ferrari's morning show, the Cabinet minister said: "There are some parts of the country, currently in Tier 3, where the rates are going up fast and we'll review that soon."

Read more: PM confirms tougher new Covid measures to be announced

Read more: 'Close borders, schools and ban household mixing' - Jeremy Hunt

What have other politicians said about another lockdown?

On Sunday, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called for another national lockdown "within the next 24 hours" in order to control the virus.

"It's no good with the Prime Minister hinting that further restrictions will come into place in a week or two or three," he said.

"That delay has been the source of so many problems so I say bring in those restrictions now, national restrictions within the next 24 hours."

This was echoed by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who on Monday told LBC: "The government should as a matter of urgency be ordering a national lockdown."

His comments came after former health secretary Jeremy Hunt called for the immediate closure of schools, borders to be shut and all household mixing to be banned to curb the surge in Covid infections.

Read more: Sir Keir Starmer calls for national lockdown 'within 24 hours'

Watch: 'Virus is out of control, while NHS and staff are stretched', Khan warns

Are we heading for another national lockdown?

With Boris Johnson set to address the nation at 8pm, it is likely further lockdown measures will be announced.

However, it is not yet clear whether he will plunge more areas into Tier 4 restrictions or introduce another national lockdown.

In the past, when the prime minister used direct addresses the nation it has been to confirm a nationwide lockdown.

Reports have suggested England will be entering a third shutdown.

When will Boris Johnson make an announcement?

The prime minister will be speaking at 8pm on Monday evening and Parliament will be recalled on Wednesday to discuss any new measures that are announced.

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