Jan. 5 (UPI) — Folks in England and most of Scotland started life underneath a brand new COVID-19 lockdown Tuesday after the British authorities imposed sweeping new restrictions to assist stem the unfold of the pandemic.

The day started with faculties newly closed to most college students in England, Scotland and Wales following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s imposition of latest COVID-19 guidelines.

In a televised handle Monday, Johnson stated main faculties, secondary faculties and faculties throughout England should transfer to distant settings — with exceptions for susceptible youngsters of vital staff — till the February half time period.

The brand new lockdown additionally requires folks to remain house apart from restricted causes, reminiscent of searching for necessities, train, working if unable to take action at house, looking for medical help or escaping home abuse.

The step to shut faculties was taken “very, very reluctantly,” Cupboard Workplace minister Michael Gove informed BBC Radio Tuesday, saying he understands the considerations of fogeys and lecturers concerning the influence of cancelling exams.

Schooling officers had been looking for to seek out the “the most effective and simplest approach” to check college students, he stated.

“What we need to be sure is that the tactic of evaluation is as truthful as potential and takes under consideration the impact that disruption has had,” Gove stated.

Johnson’s transfer got here shortly after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon imposed a lockdown on Scotland for the remaining the month underneath most individuals are required to remain at house and closed faculties to most pupils till February.

Police Scotland stated there might be “elevated patrols” within the nation through the lockdown.

“We may have elevated patrols in our communities to clarify the laws and to encourage folks to do the fitting factor,” Chief constable Iain Livingstone informed broadcaster STV. “The place officers encounter willful breaches they are going to act decisively to implement the regulation.”