(AP) — England is entering a third national lockdown that will last at least six weeks, as authorities struggle to stem a surge in COVID-19 infections that threatens to overwhelm hospitals around the U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a tough new stay-at-home order for England until at least mid-February to combat a new, more contagious coronavirus variant. The lockdown takes effect at midnight Tuesday. Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon also imposed a lockdown that began Tuesday. The two leaders said the lockdowns were needed to protect the National Health Service from becoming overwhelmed. Hospitals in England are treating 26,626 coronavirus patients, 40% more than during the first peak in April.