England faces new lockdown as UK virus cases pass 1 million

EFL said 'elite sport' would continue amid lockdown
England faces new lockdown as UK virus cases pass 1 million
Posted at 12:28 PM, Oct 31, 2020

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the government is putting all of England under a monthlong lockdown next week after being warned that a resurgent coronavirus outbreak will overwhelm hospitals in weeks without tough action.

Johnson said in a televised news conference night that the new measures will begin Thursday and last until Dec. 2.

Bars and restaurants can only offer take-out, the Associated Press reported.

The AP added that haircuts to foreign holidays must be put on hold once again.

Non-essential shops must close and people will only be able to leave home for a shortlist of reasons.

Unlike during the U.K.'s first lockdown, schools, universities and manufacturing businesses will stay open.

According to a press release by the English Football League (EFL), "elite sport will be able to continue and EFL competitions will therefore remain as currently scheduled (in both England and Wales)" during the lockdown.

"Professional football has implemented some of the most stringent, robust and regularly reviewed protocols since the restart in June 2020 and our medical experts’ advice remains in place to fully adhere to these measures which are specifically designed to mitigate against the spread of the virus," EFL officials said in the release. "The health, safety, and well-being of players and Club staff throughout the pandemic have been our first priority and this will continue as we enter this next period of lockdown and beyond. In addition, we acknowledge the Government’s national efforts in tackling this outbreak and would hope that during this next phase of the crisis, our national sport, negatively affected by COVID-19 like many other industries, can continue to provide some form of welcome distraction and give people in our communities up and down the country a sense of normality in very challenging times."

The U.K. reported more than 21,900 new confirmed virus cases on Saturday, bringing the country's total since the start of the pandemic to over 1 million.