ENGLAND has begun the first day of a four week lockdown. It’s less stringent than the lockdown in March, but it will see non-essential retail, leisure and hospitality venues (except for takeaway) close. Non-essential travel is not allowed and mixing of households can no longer take place either inside or outdoors, although you can meet with one other person outdoors.

But what is the situation in other parts of the UK and the world?

Wales is getting close to the end of a two-week “firebreak”, but after its tight lockdown lifts on November 9, the Welsh Government is encouraging residents to stick to social distancing and above all stay out of each other’s homes to minimize transmission of the coronavirus. Businesses which have been shut for a fortnight will be able to reopen. Northern Ireland’s four-week “circuit breaker” lockdown will end in mid November. Meanwhile Scotland has moved to a five-tier system of specific local restrictions.

While France and Germany have already entered new four-week lockdowns, other countries in Europe will also be introducing tougher measures this week in an aim to slow transmission of the coronavirus. Germany’s rules will look similar to England. Their lockdown came as German officials say they can’t trace the source of three-quarters of new coronavirus infections – and the number of people in intensive care with Covid-19 had doubled in the past ten days.

Austria’s stricter restrictions coming in this week include sporting and leisure events being cancelled, bars and restaurants being closed and a curfew imposed which will see people banned from leaving their homes between 8pm and 6am.

Spain has approved an extension of its national nightly curfew until May 2021, and other locally specific restrictions are being imposed. The curfew announcement last weekend led to protests in around 12 cities with clashes between police and protestors.

In Australia, different states and territories are operating their own sets of coronavirus restrictions. There were clashes between police and hundreds of anti-lockdown protestors in Melbourne on Tuesday.

In the USA, social distancing and masks are still required almost everywhere, with a “patchwork” of different restrictions in operation across different states of the country as officials react to rises and falls in cases.

There are a handful of countries in the world where there have been no coronavirus cases according to data up to November 4 from the World Health Organisation. Almost all of these are pacific islands.

Turkmenistan, Vanuatu, Samoa, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, Palau, Tuvalu and Nauru have reported no cases. North Korea says it has has no Covid-19 cases but information is not available to the WHO.