After a rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom, there will be a four week shut down of non-essential businesses and hospitality.

However, unlike the shutdown earlier this year, schools and universities can remain open, but that doesn’t mean the economy won’t take a major hit during the lockdown.

The British Chambers of Commerce expects the lockdown to deliver a “devastating blow” to businesses, which were already in a fragile state due to the March shutdown, The BBC reports.

During a Downing Street news conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologized for the shutdown, stating that he was “truly, truly sorry” for the impact on businesses.

However, the furlough system that has been paying 80% of employee wages will remain in place and has been extended through November.

In the upcoming weeks, Johnson expects hospitals in the area to reach capacity and put doctors and nurses in positions in which they will have to choose which patients to save. 

“Doctors and nurses would be forced to choose which patients to treat, who would get oxygen and who wouldn’t, who would live and who would die,” he said.

The UK recorded 21,915 confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday, which brings the total to 1,011,660 since the pandemic began.

Despite the four-week-long shutdown ordered for England, Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford will end the 17-day “firebreak” which is scheduled to cease Nov.9.

Johnson’s support of the UK lockdown comes after the National Health Service warned that hospitals would be “overwhelmed within weeks,” and the death toll would exceed that of the first wave.

The UK economy is predicted to grow by 5.9 percent in 2021, down from prior guidance of 6.3 percent, according to the IMF's latest World Economic Outlook The UK economy is predicted to grow by 5.9 percent in 2021, down from prior guidance of 6.3 percent, according to the IMF's latest World Economic Outlook Photo: AFP / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS