UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has introduced a brand new nationwide lockdown for England till a minimum of mid-February to fight a fast-spreading new variant of the coronavirus, at the same time as Britain ramped up its vaccination program by changing into the primary nation to begin utilizing the shot developed by Oxford College and drugmaker AstraZeneca.Mr Johnson mentioned individuals should keep at house once more, as they have been ordered to take action within the first wave of the pandemic in March, this time as a result of the brand new virus variant was spreading in a "irritating and alarming" means.READ MORE: UK ramps up inoculations as Oxford-AstraZeneca jabs start for first sufferers"As I converse to you tonight, our hospitals are below extra strain from COVID than at any time for the reason that begin of the pandemic," he mentioned.Underneath the brand new guidelines, that are set to come back into impact as quickly as doable, major and secondary colleges and faculties shall be closed for nose to nose studying aside from the youngsters of key staff. College college students won’t be returning till a minimum of mid-February.All nonessential outlets and private care providers like hairdressers shall be closed, and eating places can solely function takeout providers.As of Monday, there have been 26,626 COVID sufferers in hospitals in England, a rise of greater than 30 per cent from per week in the past. That’s 40 per cent above the best stage of the primary wave within the spring.LIVE UPDATES: Qantas begins promoting flights once moreREAD MORE: UK in 'eye of the storm' amid surging new coronavirus instancesThe UK has seen an alarming surge in coronavirus instances in latest weeks as public well being officers wrestle to regulate the unfold of a brand new variant of COVID-19 that’s extra contagious than earlier variants. Authorities have recorded greater than 50,000 new infections a day since passing that milestone for the primary time on Dec. 29. On Monday, they reported 407 virus-related deaths to push the confirmed dying toll complete to 75,431, one of many worst in Europe.The UK's chief medical officers warned that with out additional motion, "there’s a materials threat of the Nationwide Well being Service in a number of areas being overwhelmed over the subsequent 21 days." Mr Johnson mentioned the UK should transfer to alert stage 5.Hours earlier, Scottish chief Nicola Sturgeon additionally imposed a lockdown in her nation till the top of January.