British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday in a news conference that a month-long national lockdown in England will become effective on Nov. 4 to last until Dec. 2.

“From Thursday, the basic message is the same — stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives,” Johnson said.

“If nothing is done, doctors would be forced to choose between COVID patients and non-COVID patients,” he said.

“Now is the time to take action, because there is no alternative,” he added.

Non-essential shops, as well as pubs, restaurants, gyms, and hairdressers will close. Household mixing inside homes will be banned, but schools, universities, courts, and the parliament will continue to be open. Construction will also be encouraged to continue.

England currently operates a three-tier system of coronavirus restrictions.

Johnson said that an additional, higher tier, called Tier 4, will come into existence and apply for all of England.

Wales and Northern Ireland are already in short, national circuit-breaker lockdowns, and Scotland operates its own tougher, tiered system.

Meanwhile, the government announced 21,915 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to over 1 million.

There were a further 326 fatalities, raising the death total to 46,555.

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