Much is an echo of March – but a lot is different too

Laura Kuenssberg
Political editor
@bbclaurakon Twitter

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

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By 8pm on Monday it felt inevitable.

But it doesn't mean that a national instruction to close the doors was automatic. Or indeed that new lockdowns in England and Scotland aren't still dramatic and painful.

With tightening up in Wales and Northern Ireland too, the spread of coronavirus this winter has been faster than governments' attempts to keep up with it – leaving leaders with little choice but to take more of our choices away.

There is much that's an echo of March. Work, school, life outside the home will be constrained in so many ways, with terrible and expensive side-effects for the economy.

This time, it's already spluttering – restrictions being turned on and off for months have starved so much trade of vital business.

But there's a lot that's different too. After so long, the public is less forgiving of the actions taken, and there is frustration particularly over last-minute changes for schools; fatigue too with having to live under such limits.

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