A sequence of strict measures to try to sluggish the unfold of a new pressure of Covid-19 have come into effect in Britain.
London and far of south east England, in addition to all of Wales have entered a new Tier Four set of restrictions. Movement into and out of those areas has been restricted and international journey for all however work causes is successfully banned.
Scotland has additionally banned all journey into and in a foreign country from different elements of the UK.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Government right here has stated there isn’t any change to the Government's journey recommendation to Britain, following yesterday's newly introduced restrictions there.
The British Prime Minister successfully cancelled Christmas for nearly 18 million individuals in London, south-eastern and jap England because the area was put into a new two-week lockdown from at this time.
Boris Johnson stated individuals ought to "lift a glass to those who aren't there", understanding that celebrating Christmas aside this yr meant there could be "a better chance that they'll be there next year".
Under the new Tier 4 guidelines non-essential retailers – in addition to gyms, cinemas, casinos and hairdressers – have to remain shut and individuals are restricted to assembly one different particular person from one other family in an outside public area.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has introduced new restrictions round Christmas as elements of England transfer to Tier 4. | https://t.co/rVZDlQqJgl pic.twitter.com/DSPAk0ejML
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) December 19, 2020
Those in Tier 4 had been advised they need to not journey out of the area, whereas these exterior had been suggested towards visiting.
In the remainder of England, Christmas easing has been severely curtailed, with households allowed to assemble for simply someday – Christmas Day itself – moderately than the 5 days beforehand deliberate.
Scotland and Wales are additionally proscribing Christmas "bubbles" to a single day, whereas individuals in Northern Ireland have been requested to contemplate forming a bubble for Christmas Day solely.
Meanwhile leaders in Northern Ireland say that Christmas bubbles ought to be as small as attainable and folks ought to think about forming them for 25 December solely.
They says that the "aggressive new strain" of Covid-19 reinforces the necessity for everybody to be vigilant and comply with the general public well being recommendation.
Wales has additionally mirrored the Tier 4 restrictions in England by bringing ahead alert stage 4 measures to at this time, whereas Scotland has stated its journey ban with the remainder of the UK will now stay in place proper all through the festive interval.
At a No 10 information convention yesterday, Mr Johnson stated he was taking the actions with a "heavy heart", however the scientific proof – suggesting the new pressure was as much as 70% extra transmissible than the unique variant – had left him with no selection.
"Without action the evidence suggests that infections would soar, hospitals would become overwhelmed and many thousands more would lose their lives," he stated.
"Yes Christmas this year will be different, very different. We're sacrificing the chance to see our loved ones this Christmas so that we have a better chance of protecting their lives, so that we can see them at future Christmases."
The bulletins prompted a rush to the London practice stations and by 7pm on yesterday, there have been no tickets accessible on-line from a number of London stations together with Paddington, Kings Cross and Euston.
Footage posted on social media confirmed giant crowds at St Pancras station ready to board trains to Leeds.
If they didn't need this new variant to get out of London, it’s simply discovered a attainable new route. It’s referred to as the practice line to the East Midlands from St Pancras station tonight … ? pic.twitter.com/hIPOMG7Bex
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) December 19, 2020
The bulletins got here as a hammer blow to many companies – significantly retailers hoping to choose up some pre-Christmas gross sales on the finish of a torrid yr in which that they had confronted repeated orders to shut.
There was additionally fury amongst some Conservative MPs after weeks of rising backbench unrest over the return of increasingly stringent controls.
Mark Harper, the chief of the Covid Recovery Group of Tory MPs, demanded the recall of Parliament so MPs might debate and vote on the modifications for England.
"Given the three-tier system and the initial Christmas household rules were expressly authorised by the House of Commons, these changes must also be put to a vote in the Commons at the earliest opportunity, even if that means a recall of the House," he stated.
British Medical Association council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul nonetheless welcomed the announcement which, he stated, would save lives and assist well being providers deal with "incredible demand".
The dramatic transfer got here after scientists on the Government's New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) concluded the mutant pressure recognized by the Public Health England laboratories at Porton Down was spreading extra shortly.
The Prime Minister was suggested of the group's conclusions at a gathering with ministers on the Covid O Committee on Friday night, and the new rules had been signed off by the Cabinet in a convention name yesterday.
The UK additionally knowledgeable the World Health Organization of its findings.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government's chief scientific adviser, stated the new variant, generally known as VUI 202012/01, was thought to have originated in both London or Kent in September.
By November, it was accounting for 28% of new infections in the area and by early December that had risen to 60%.
"This new variant not only moves fast but it is becoming the dominant variant," he stated.
He stated nonetheless there was no proof it causes a extra extreme sickness than the unique virus, whereas the "working assumption" of scientists was that the vaccines that had been developed ought to have the ability to cope with it.
Read extra coronavirus tales