PM Johnson says he hopes to avoid another lockdown for England

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a news conference about the ongoing situation with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in London

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday he hoped that England would not need to go into a third lockdown after Christmas and follow Wales and Northern Ireland in imposing the measure to stop the growing spread of COVID-19.

"Obviously we're hoping very much that we'll be able to avoid anything like that," Johnson told reporters. "But the reality is that the rates of infection have increased very much in the last few weeks."

(Reporting by William James, writing by Michael Holden)