British lawmakers approved a month-long lockdown in England, voting on Wednesday in favour of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan to try to prevent Covid-19 running out of control and overwhelming health services.
People will be ordered to stay at home from Thursday to combat a surge in new infections that could, if unchecked, cause more deaths than a first wave which forced a three-month lockdown earlier this year.
The United Kingdom, which has the biggest official death toll in Europe from Covid-19, is grappling with more than 20 000 new Covid-19 cases a day and scientists have warned the "worst case" scenario of 80 000 dead could be exceeded.
Those warnings forced Johnson to announce a U-turn on Saturday, having previously insisted on an approach of regional lockdowns.
Labour leader Keir Starmer said: "While these regulations are not in any way desirable or perfect, they are now necessary because the government has lost control of the virus."
Some in Johnson's own party, however, voted against the plan.
"I have a fundamental problem with much of what we're being asked to do here - as well as the economic impact, the human toll which this will have," said Graham Brady, head of an influential Conservative committee.