UK leader to end England’s coronavirus lockdown on Dec. 2

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by: DANICA KIRKA, Associated Press

Posted: Nov 22, 2020 / 04:13 AM EST
/ Updated: Nov 22, 2020 / 04:13 AM EST

A testing staff member completes a lateral flow test swab, mandatory before opening to the public, at Rhydycar leisure centre in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. where mass coronavirus testing begins following a two-week “firebreak” lockdown. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to end an England-wide lockdown as scheduled on Dec. 2 and will announce a return to regional restrictions as statistics show that coronavirus infections have stabilized.

Johnson’s office also confirmed plans to begin a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination program next month, assuming regulators approve a vaccine against the virus. The government also will increase mass testing in an effort to suppress the virus until vaccines can be rolled out.

Johnson’s office said late Saturday that the government plans to return to using a three-tiered system of localized restrictions in England, with areas facing different lockdown measures based on the severity of their outbreaks. More communities are expected to be placed in the two highest virus alert categories, it said.

The government put England under a four-week lockdown that started Nov. 5. The Cabinet is to discuss the plans Sunday, …

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