With the new strain of Covid-19 spreading faster and proving more contagious than its previous incarnation, the government has been forced to issue ‘stay at home’ warnings to everyone who can work from home and to avoid any unnecessary journeys.
Primary and secondary schools will also be closed from Tuesday until after the February half term at the latest and students in higher education must now go back to remote and online learning and those at university must not return to campus. Schools in Northern Ireland and Wales have also been shut but nurseries will remain open.
Many of the restrictions that were active in previous lockdowns have returned but there are a few differences such as being able to exercise with one other person outside of your household a day and elite sports such as the Premier League will continue as normal.
With the vaccination now being distributed, there is hope that this will be the final lockdown of its kind and that there is now light at the end of the tunnel but this will be largely seen as another blow for those who want life to return to normal as quickly as possible.
While many will complain about the government’s handling of the situation and the delay to the announcement, others took a lighter and more ironic look at the next few weeks ahead.