UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson issues lockdown order as cases rise across nation |

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and the united kingdom is under a strict new national lockdown this morning as a new strain of the virus is contributing to a dramatic surge in cases james longman joins me now with more on that national shutdown and james good morning what does this lockdown entail and why now good morning diane well i think in in kind of very clear terms what you just saw there from matt’s report is being replicated here in the united states and actually i think the situation here in britain is as bad if not worse actually we’re seeing a sustained period of case numbers more than 50 000 new cases of infection a day over a number of days and the number of deaths as well as being replicated uh being reflected in the death toll so if you look at the death toll now for instance it’s third higher than it was um at the beginning of december so it is being driven uh officials think by this new mutation and that’s why the government has made this decision so we’re back down to a full national lockdown like we were earlier in uh in the year last year in march so all non-essential businesses have closed people are being ordered to stay home they’re not allowed to socialize any longer the only businesses that can remain open are things like supermarkets construction workers can continue to work anyone who can’t reasonably do their job from home is allowed to continue but pretty much we’re back to where we were in march with the hope that these vaccines will release britain but the picture here is very grim indeed dan and james how are people there reacting to this look i think there’s a real sense of depression you know that we had months and months of lockdown continual promises by the government that the end was just around the corner that they were getting a handle on things and yet here we are again i think obviously lessons were learned over the lockdown people worked out how they could survive for all those months without seeing friends and family without being able to work but i think fundamentally people are kind of angry about the sort of stop start kind of process over the last few months particularly with schools just as an example over the last few weeks the government repeated that whilst there may be tougher restrictions schools would stay open right up until yesterday when schools students returned after the christmas break they returned for one day then the prime minister made his announcement last night at eight o’clock that everything would close and all those children now are back to home learning when you think there are children who have to do serious exams in this country at age 16 and then again at age 18 um you know for them to be messed around in this way and their parents of course who have to work out how to continue their work whilst at the same time home schooling it’s very difficult so i think there is a sense that the government has reacted late at every juncture to this uh issue and there are other major problems that the the virus has kind of um made even worse where it comes to kind of things like the inequality gap because those who are going back to work key workers people like bus drivers and cleaners they by and large are low-income workers and they’re putting themselves on the front line they’re making themselves kind of more vulnerable to the virus so people are saying well what are you going to do about that you’re going to prioritize them you’re going to give them the vaccine first it doesn’t seem to be a lot of planning in that end and i think that’s why some people are feeling more than a little depressed this morning diane and james so much hope is now hanging on the vaccines the uk is doing things differently from the u.s so what is the vaccine plan there right now well the plan now is to give as many people as possible the first dose of the vaccine either the pfizer or the astrazeneca vaccine those two have been authorized uh here in britain with the hope that three weeks after that first dose you do get some kind of immunity and the prime minister was actually quite clear last night on uh exactly how he plans to roll this out in the in the uh in the first instance you have uh those in care homes and care workers who will get the vaccine first anyone who’s a frontline health worker as well those who are clinically vulnerable and anyone aged 70 and above and the idea is to get as many of those people vaccinated by mid-february as possible so that restrictions can then be lifted on the rest of the country but that is something like 14 million people so that is a big big task so if you work on that time frame by mid-february if everyone’s had one dose it won’t be for another few weeks after that until they’ve got some kind of immunity so that leads us to believe we’re probably going to be in lockdown until at least march but that all hangs on the idea that you can vaccinate two million people a week and a lot of people think that’s possible but we have to wait and see and keep our fingers crossed diane a lot of patience needed right now james longman in london thank you hi everyone george stephanopoulos here thanks for checking out the abc news youtube channel if you’d like to get more videos show highlights and watch live event coverage click on the right over here to subscribe to our channel and don’t forget to download the abc news app for breaking news alerts thanks for watching

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