Boris Johnson's intervention comes more than a month after scientists recommended a "circuit-breaker".
The government's own scientific advisers called for a circuit breaker more than a month ago.
Singapore suffered just 28 deaths. By comparison, the situation in the UK is dire, writes Melissa Jacobs.
Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford said the move would help protect small businesses during the two week "firebreak" lockdown, but some aren't convinced.
A circuit breaker lockdown is a mini-lockdown intended to cut off the flow of the virus and buy the government time to tackle a surge in cases. But what does it actually entail, and how does it work?
This year, the ITV reality show is relocating to Wales, which is just about to enter a circuit-breaker lockdown.
Scientists, opposition MPs and a majority of the public think it is necessary to get the virus under control, but the PM can't make up his mind.
Bars, restaurants and non-essential shops will all be shut from October 23 until November 9.
But Sage scientist warns "it’s better to do it now than in a month’s time".
People are wrongly being asked to choose between their health and their livelihoods. This is not sustainable, writes Andrew O'Brien.