National lockdown 'to begin on Thursday' as Boris Johnson prepares to address nation
A new national lockdown will begin on Thursday and last until December, the Prime Minister is expected to announce this afternoon.
ITV political editor Robert Peston has been leaked details of the government's Tier 4 measures set to be revealed by Boris Johnson in a press conference at 6.30pm.
It is thought everything bar essential shops, nurseries, universities and schools will shut, with outdoor exercise and recreation being encouraged.
There will be no household mixing except for childcare and other forms of support, while non-work related travel will be discouraged, and travel outside the UK will be banned except for work reasons.
Private prayer will continue in places of worship, but not services, with the government encouraging manufacturing and construction to keep going.
Pubs and restaurants will close but takeaways will continue.
In a series of tweets, Peston said: "It all starts at one second past midnight on Thursday.
"The regulations will be published in Tuesday, and MPs will vote on them on Wednesday. One source told me to consider the regulations as a Tier 4 for the whole of England.
"After December 2, the exit strategy is that different parts of the country will then have their local economies and behaviour governed by the existing Tiers, namely Tiers 1 to 3, depending on how serious the virus is in these respective places."
Earlier this afternoon, NHS England announced a further 208 people who had tested positive for Covid had died in hospitals in England.