UK says 4-week coronavirus lockdown may have to last longer

By JILL LAWLESS Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — The British government says a new national lockdown in England may have to last longer than the planned four weeks if coronavirus infection rates don't fall quickly enough.

The lockdown announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to run from Thursday until Dec. 2.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove said Sunday it was the government's "fervent hope" that the lockdown would end on time, but it could not be guaranteed.

Under the new restrictions, bars and restaurants can only offer take-out, non-essential shops must close and people must remain at home except for exercise and essential tasks. Hairdressers, gyms, golf courses, swimming pools and bowling alleys also have to shut.

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