The UK is going back to a full national lockdown in an effort to stem a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by a contagious new mutation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Monday.

The new “stay at home” order will go into effect Wednesday and is expected to last until at least mid-February.

“With most of the country already under extreme measures, it’s clear that we need to do more, together, to bring this new variant under control while our vaccines are rolled out,” Johnson in a televised address.

“In England, we must therefore go into a national lockdown.”

The measures, similar to those imposed at the beginning of the pandemic in March, mean that people will be urged to stay home, school buildings will be closed and non-essential businesses shuttered.

The government hopes the lockdown will help curb surging COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Boris JohnsonAP

With Post wires

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