U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson became Europe’s latest leader to retreat from a no-lockdown pledge, faced with a virus pandemic that’s wreaking havoc on government plans and derailing an economic recovery.
A one-month stay-at-home policy for all of England will take effect Thursday, with waivers for schools, universities and essential stores, Johnson said on Saturday as U.K. cases surpassed 1 million. Germany and France imposed similar partial shutdowns last week.
Austria, Greece and Portugal followed the example of the European Union’s two big economic powers on Saturday with expanded shutdowns for November. Leaders across the region are seeking to beat back the virus surge before the end-of-year holiday season in Europe, where more than 215,000 have died and nearly 7 million have been infected.