As I converse to you tonight, our hospitals are below extra stress from Covid than at any time because the begin of the pandemic. In England alone, the variety of Covid sufferers in hospitals has elevated by practically a 3rd within the final week to virtually 27,000. And that quantity is 40 p.c larger than the primary peak in April. On the twenty ninth of December, greater than 80,000 folks examined constructive for Covid throughout the U.Okay., a brand new file. The variety of deaths is up by 20 p.c over the past week, and can sadly rise additional. And my ideas are with all those that’ve misplaced family members. With many of the nation already below excessive measures, it’s clear that we have to do extra collectively to deliver this new variant below management whereas our vaccines are rolled out. In England, we should subsequently go right into a nationwide lockdown, which is hard sufficient to include this variant. Chances are you’ll solely go away house for restricted causes permitted in legislation, reminiscent of to buy necessities, to work — in case you completely can’t earn a living from home — to train, to hunt medical help, reminiscent of getting a Covid take a look at or to flee home abuse. Major colleges, secondary colleges and schools throughout England should transfer to distant provision from tomorrow, apart from susceptible kids and the youngsters of key employees.