BORIS Johnson has announced increased coronavirus restrictions in England this afternoon, Tuesday, as the pandemic reaches a "perilous turning point".

Speaking to MPs, the Prime Minister said the UK Covid-19 alert level had been raised from three to four, the second highest level, meaning transmission of the virus is high and rising in the community.

These were the Prime Minister's key announcements

  • From Thursday, all pubs, bars, restaurants and hospitality venues must only operate with table service, except for takeaways, and must close at 10pm.
  • From Monday, a maximum of 15 people can attend weddings, but up to 30 can still attend funerals.
  • Workers who can work from home should now do so. 
  • Face covering rules will also be extended to include passengers in taxis, staff in retail and customers when they are not eating inside a hospitality venue.
  • The 'Rule of Six' now includes indoor team sports, while the October 1 return of spectators has been put on hold.

'By no means a return to the full lockdown of March'

Mr Johnson told MPs: "I want to stress that this is by no means a return to the full lockdown of March.

"We’re not issuing a general instruction to stay at home.

"We will ensure that schools, colleges, universities stay open because nothing is more important than the education, health and well-being of our young people.

"We will ensure businesses can stay open in a Covid-compliant way.

"However we must take action to suppress the disease."

Boris Johnson said that the restrictions announced could remain in place for "perhaps six months".

He told the Commons: "I fervently want to avoid taking this step, as do the devolved administrations but we will only be able to avoid it if our new measures work and our behaviour changes.

"We will spare no effort in developing vaccines, treatments, new forms of mass-testing but unless we palpably make progress we should assume that the restrictions that I have announced will remain in place for perhaps six months.

"For the time being, this virus is a fact of our lives and I must tell the House and the country that our fight against it will continue."