England will go back into lockdown from Thursday, the prime minister has said.

Pubs, bars and restaurants will close, though takeaways will be allowed, and all non-essential retail shops will be shut along with leisure facilities.

The restrictions will be similar to those introduced at the start of the pandemic in March, however this time schools and universities will remain open.

People will still be able to exercise outdoors and travel to work if they cannot work from home. The furlough scheme will be extended until December.

Single adult households will be able to form a support bubble with one other household.

People will not be asked to shield in the same way as they had to in the spring. However, the most vulnerable have been urged to take "even greater precautions than the general public", Prof Chris Whitty told reporters on Saturday night.

MPs will vote on the new measures before they are introduced at 00.01 on Thursday. They will be in place until December 2 when the country is expected to return to the three-tier model currently in place.

Boris Johnson told a Downing Street press conference: "I'm afraid no responsible prime minister can ignore the message of those figures.

"We know the cost of these restrictions - the impact on jobs and livelihoods, and people's mental health. No-one wants to be imposing these measures."

The prime minister thanked people who had been "putting up with" local restrictions.

But he warned: "We've got to be humble in the face of nature... the virus is spreading even faster than the reasonable worst case scenario of our scientific advisers.

"Unless we act, we could see deaths in this country running at several thousand a day - a peak of mortality, alas, bigger than the one we saw in April."

Mr Johnson said the army was being called in to support the roll out of a rapid testing programme - with covid tests that could provide a result within 10 to 15 minutes.