From Sunday 20 December, many areas in England will enter Tier 4: Stay At Home.
🔵 Infections have risen again in England in recent weeks and R is above 1 in the UK
🔵 Over the last two weeks UK case-rates have increased by more than 50%
🔵 ONS data shows that the proportion of the new variant strain is increasing
The new variant is spreading more rapidly than the original version, but it is not believed to be more deadly.
Along with the UK, the same mutation of the Covid-19 virus has also been detected in the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia, the WHO told the BBC.
The prime minister Boris Johnson added: “We will introduce new restrictions in the most affected areas, specifically those parts of London, the south-east and east of England.
“These areas will enter a new Tier 4.
The Prime Minister said: “I know how much emotion people invest in this time of year, and how important it is, for instance, for grandparents to see their grandchildren, for families to be together.
“So I know how disappointing this will be.
“But we have said throughout this pandemic that we must and we will be guided by the science.
“When the science changes, we must change our response.”
David Williams, leader of Hertfordshire County Council, said: “This is very dissapointing but the Government has taken this decision in response to a new, faster spreading variant of the virus which isc reating a significant incease to case numbers across London and the South East.