England’s third national lockdown came into force today as hospital admissions hit new highs.
The new stay at home measures, which were announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, come after the number of people testing positive for coronavirus passed 60,000 for the first time on Tuesday.
The number of patients in hospital is now 40% higher than the levels seen in the first peak with around three in 10 beds occupied by COVID patients and the figures as high as six in 10 in some areas.
Cancer treatment is being cancelled in some areas as hospitals attempt to clear more spaces in wards.
Around one in 50 people were believed to have the virus in England, with the figure rising to one in 30 in London.
Vulnerable people are being advised to shield again during the current lockdown.
The government is aiming to vaccinate all the over 70s, the most clinically vulnerable and front-line health and care workers by mid-February.
The PM said yesterday that around 1.3m people have so far been vaccinated with the government aiming to ramp-up to around 2m immunisations a week.