British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons on Monday there was “no alternative” but to lockdown the country for several weeks.

Johnson, who at times has questioned tighter social limits during the pandemic, placed restrictions over the United Kingdom through Dec. 2.

“Models of our scientists suggest that unless we act now, we could see deaths over the winter that are twice as bad or more compared with the first wave,” Johnson said in his prepared remarks. “Faced with these latest figures, there is no alternative but to take further action at a national level."

New orders outlined by Johnson last week call for people to stay home except for necessary services such as essential shopping, medical reasons and providing care for the vulnerable, among others. Restaurants and bars are closed but can still deliver carry out.

Restrictions outlined earlier this year included a $255 fine for a first offense for not wearing a mask or for holding gatherings of six or more people. If possible, workers are encouraged to stay at home.

British Business Secretary Alok Sharma said in an address to a British industrial conference that Johnson’s restrictions were appropriate.

"The cost of inaction would be greater than the action," Sharma said.

Ministers are divided over Johnson's decision, with some wondering what took him so long. Others suggested Johnson's restrictions are an example of political overreach.

The British government put new cases of COVID-19 at 18,950 nation-wide as of Monday. Johnson himself tested positive in April but recovered after a brief stint in the hospital.

Boris Johnson at the weekend announced new lockdown restrictions to contain a resurgent virus, fanning fears for businesses' survival Boris Johnson at the weekend announced new lockdown restrictions to contain a resurgent virus, fanning fears for businesses' survival Photo: POOL / Alberto Pezzali