Great Britain

Live coverage of the Prime Minister's address to the nation

Boris Johnson is set to address the nation after announcing strict new Covid rules for England this afternoon.

The measures come into force next week and include:

Mr Johnson said 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.”

The address is set to begin at 8pm.

Military won't be on the streets

The military will not be called to police Boris Johnson’s new lockdown rules. according to the Ministry of Defence.

Among the tougher penalties for those who “brazenly defy” the restrictions, Mr Johnson said businesses could face £10,000 fines for breaking the rules and the penalty for failing to wear a mask will double to £200 for the first offence. The same fine will apply for breaching the so-called rule of six.

Boris Johnson said: “We will provide the police and local authorities with the extra funding they need, a greater police presence on our streets, and the option to draw on military support where required to free up the police.”

But the military have been quick to clarify its role would not be on the frontline.

A tweet from the Ministry of Defence read: “The military have well-rehearsed contingency plans in place to support police services, with 500 military personnel now available to backfill armed guarding duties if required by the Home Office.

“The military will not be undertaking any public-order or enforcement activities.”

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