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Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson announced Saturday that England will shut down for the second time as the UK reported more than one million COVID-19 cases.

The shutdown will begin on Thursday after a Wednesday parliamentary vote and will last until Dec. 2, the BBC reported.

“We’ve got to be humble in the face of nature,” Johnson said Saturday during a news conference. “In this county, alas, as across much of the Europe, the virus is spreading even faster than the worst-case scenarios of our scientists.”

“We must act now to contain the autumn surge,” he added.

Restaurants and non-essential businesses will be closed, but schools and universities will remain open. People are encouraged to stay home but will be permitted to leave residences for education and work purposes, as well as for food shopping and health reasons.

Nearly 22,000 new coronavirus cases were reported Saturday across the UK. The nation, comprised of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, has reported more than 1 million COVID-19 cases since the onset of the pandemic. While the shutdown is specific to England, as healthcare is handled by individual governments in each of the countries, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all recently instituted more stringent restrictions.

Eight other nations have reported higher numbers of coronavirus cases, including the U.S., which leads with more than 9 million confirmed cases.

France, Germany and Belgium have also shut down parts of their countries in recent days.

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