In this country, as across much of Europe, the virus is spreading even faster than the reasonable worst case scenario of our scientific advisers.

If we fail to take action, then there is a real risk of depriving non-covid patients of the care that they need from the NHS.

In England, from Thursday until the start of December, you must stay at home.

Non-essential shops, leisure, and entertainment venues will be closed. Pubs, bars and restaurants must close except for takeaway and delivery services.

You may leave your home for work, for exercise, with your household or on your own with one person from another household, to shop for food and essentials, for medical care and to provide care for others.

Single adult households can still form exclusive support bubbles with one other household, and children will still be able to move between homes if their parents are separated.

Childcare, early years settings, schools, colleges and universities will all remain open. Our senior clinicians still advise that school is the best place for children to be.

I urge parents to continue taking their children to school and am so grateful to teachers for their dedication in enabling schools to remain open.

These measures will be time-limited, starting next Thursday 5 November. They will end on Wednesday 2 December, when we will seek to ease restrictions on a local and regional basis according to the latest data and trends.

I want to thank the millions of people who have been putting up with restrictions for so long. I know how difficult this has been for everyone.

We will get through this – but we must act now to contain the spread of coronavirus.

While Christmas will be very different this year, it is my sincere hope and belief that by taking tough action now, we can allow families across the country to be together.