Sky News
Sky News 23 Oct 2020

COVID-19 UK: Wales lockdown begins as hospitals fear being overwhelmed


Wales has entered a national 17-day lockdown in a bid to slow the rise of coronavirus cases and hospital admissions.

People can leave home for limited reasons including to buy food and medication, provide care, exercise or to work if they cannot do so from home.

All non-essential shops have closed - and those that remain open can only sell "essential" items.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has warned "if we do not take immediate action, our NHS could be overwhelmed and more people will die".

A major incident has been declared due to rising COVID-19 admissions.

There are 7,034 people currently in hospital with the virus in London - 35% higher compared to the first peak of the pandemic in spring.
The Prime Minister is set to announce plans to suspend COVID-19 restrictions during the Christmas period to allow families to get together.

Boris Johnson is aiming for a UK-wide relaxation of the rules, reportedly from 22 to 28 December, so that several families can join in one "bubble".

A tougher three-tiered system of local restrictions will also come into force in England when the lockdown ends on 2 December.

Mr Johnson will unveil his COVID Winter Plan to MPs on Monday.
The first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are arriving at distribution centres across the United States under Operation Warp Speed - the nation's largest immunisation project in history.
Under the programme, officials are hoping to distribute 40 million doses this month and immunise as many as 100 million by the first quarter of 2021.
The coronavirus pandemic has killed nearly 300,000 Americans - more than anywhere else in the world.

Al Jazeera's John Hendren reports from Washington, DC, the US.
The UK's chief medical officers have recommended the #COVID19 alert level should move from Level 4 to Level 5, adding that without further action there is 'material risk of the NHS in several areas being overwhelmed'.

Government sources also told Sky News the alert level will change to the highest setting.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce tougher coronavirus restrictions during a news conference at 8pm.

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