Social media users tried to find humour at the looming measures which will see schools shut from tomorrow and households banned from mixing as vaccines are rolled out across the country.
In his televised address to the nation, the Prime Minister said he was left with no option after being confronted with dire figures by science chiefs today and urged the public to adopt the new rules now.
Taking to Twitter to share their thoughts on the approaching lockdown one weary user wrote: Prepping myself for another UK lockdown. Maybe a third time lucky…people might listen, the virus might go away.
‘Who knows anymore. I’m just tired of it all. I miss hugs.’
Briton mocked the prospect of a third national lockdown which will see schools shut and households banned from mixing for months starting at midnight
While another commented: ‘Yeah, but…no..but #lockdown number three.’
Another person joked: ‘Boris: ”I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The bad news is schools are closed, new national lockdown and all businesses to close, I know…gutting. The good news is there will be a new £1 for the Queens’s 95th birthday.’
Meanwhile another said: ‘I was supposed to get my braces off a year ago but it got cancelled because of lockdown and I’m supposed to get my braces off in a week and we’ve just gone into another lockdown, pain.’
Elsewhere one added: ‘I prefer my endless lockdown to be honest.’
While another person wrote: ‘They wasted the first lockdown not creating an effective system for testing, tracing and isolation, so not surprised they’ve wasted months not planning a rapid vaccine rollout.’
Just a day after he urged parents to send their children back, the PM declared that primary and secondary schools will be shut from tomorrow until at least February half-term, with only the vulnerable and offspring of key workers allowed to go in.
The public will once again only be allowed to leave home for one of five reasons: to go to work if essential, shop for necessities, exercise – allowed with one other person from another household, care for someone, or to seek medical help.
It comes after figures from the Department of Health today showed there were another 58,784 new cases of coronavirus – a 42 per cent rise on last Monday.
There was also 407 more deaths, which is up 14 per cent on the figure recorded last week.
Some took to Twitter to mock the looming measures while others claimed to feel a sense of deja vu
Nicola Sturgeon announced a drastic crackdown in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, with a legally-enforced stay at home order from midnight and schools north of the border set to stay closed until February.
Earlier, ex-health secretary Jeremy Hunt also joined demands from Labour and Tory MPs for an immediate national squeeze with schools and borders shut and a ban on all household mixing.
Mr Hunt warned that the mutant Covid had put the NHS under ‘off the scale’ pressure compared to normal winters and the government ‘cannot afford to wait’ even one more day.
The former Health Secretary posted on Twitter: ‘To those arguing winter is always like this in the NHS: you are wrong. I faced four serious winter crises as Health Sec and the situation now is off-the-scale worse than any of those.’
The looming measures will see schools shut and households banned from mixing starting at midnight
Mr Hunt said the ‘No1 lesson’ from the pandemic is that countries can ‘save lives and get their economies back to normal faster’ if they ‘act early and decisively’.
‘We therefore cannot afford to wait: all schools should be closed, international travel stopped, household mixing limited and the tier system reviewed so that the highest tier really does bring down infection levels,’ Mr Hunt said.
‘The good news is that unlike before these restrictions will be time limited to the 12 weeks or so it will take to get the vaccine out to those most vulnerable to covid – so there is light at the end of the tunnel.’
In an address from Downing Street, Mr Johnson said: ‘Our hospitals are under more pressure than at any time since the start of the pandemic. It’s clear we need to do more.. while our vaccines are rolled out.’
He said it would not be ‘possible or fair’ for exams to go ahead this summer as normal.
‘The weeks ahead will be the hardest but I really do believe that we are reaching the end of the struggle,’ he said, pledging that by mid-February the top four categories on the vaccine distribution list will have had their first jabs.
But he admitted that he could only give assurance that the situation will improve assuming that ‘our understanding of the virus does not change again’.