British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced new coronavirus restrictions in the U.K. that could stay in place for the next six months.
U.K. health officials said the number of coronavirus cases is now doubling every seven days. According to Johnson, masks will now be mandatory at shops, in taxis and at hospitals. Sports fans will not be allowed at events as previously planned and bars and restaurants will only be open for table service and must close by 10 p.m.
Johnson said the decision to scale back on reopening plans is a proactive one in order to prevent a grim fall season for the U.K.
He said, "Tens of thousands of daily infections in October would, as night follows day, lead to hundreds of daily deaths in November and those numbers would continue to grow unless we act."
The prime minister has been blamed for handling the virus poorly in the U.K., initially downplaying COVID-19, then resisting lockdowns and ignoring health expert recommendations on masks.
Across Europe, cases of COVID-19 have surged as health officials and leaders fear a second wave of the virus. The U.K. has seen just over 400,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Contains footage from CNN.