Christmas bubbles in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 cut to just 24 hours on December 25December 19, 2020
CHRISTMAS bubbles in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 have been cut to just 24 hours on December 25.
Millions of Brits today had their festive celebrations cancelled as Boris Johnson today announced drastic new restrictions to control the spread of coronavirus.
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The plan to allow Brits to form social bubbles over five days was thrown out, with only those in Tiers 1 to 3 allowed to form a bubble on Christmas Day itself.
Anyone in the lower Tiers should only see people for 24 hours, and in ALL tiers should stay local if they can, Boris said tonight.
Those in Tier 4, including Londoners and those in the South East, will not be allowed to meet at all.
The PM – who had insisted just five days ago that festive bubbles would go ahead – may have felt bounced into the drastic measures in a bid to stop a mutant strain of coronavirus, which was identified in the South East, spreading throughout Britain.
The new variant strain of the virus which causes Covid-19 may be up to 70% more transmissible and could increase the R value by 0.4, the PM said.
It comes as…
- Boris Johnson today cancelled Christmas for millions as he put London, the South East and East in Tier 4 lockdown
- The new variant strain of the virus which causes Covid-19 may be up to 70% more transmissible – and could increase the R value by 0.4
- All Brits have been told to stay local during the festive season
- Christmas bubbles in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 have been cut to just 24 hours on December 25
- Non-essential shops and gyms in Tier 4 areas must be closed from midnight
- Those in Tier 4 will be able to meet only one other person outdoors – but must not stay overnight from home
Announcing the drastic new wave of restrictions for the festive season, Boris said: "As PM it's my duty to take the difficult decision to do what is right.
“We are sacrificing the chance to see our loved ones this Christmas so we have a better chance of protecting their lives so that we can see them at future Christmases."
Professor Whitty has informed the World Health Organisation that the new variant can spread more rapidly.
He said while there was no evidence the new strain causes a higher mortality, urgent work was underway to investigate it.
Prof Whitty said: "Given this latest development, it is now more vital than ever that the public continue to take action in their area to reduce transmission."
The new strain is blamed for a sudden surge in hospitalisations and The Sun understands evidence shows a dramatic hike in positive cases in London in the past week.
London and the South East were today moved into the highest level of restrictions, with non-essential shops, hairdressers and entertainment venues all told to close.
Brits living in Tier 4 will be told they can only leave their homes to exercise – travelling only for education, emergencies or to access childcare.
International travel is also not advised.
The drastic measures were introduced after Boris Johnson was locked in two crisis talks in less than 24 hours.
And despite insisting he wanted to keep Christmas alive, the spread of the bug forced the PM to act.
According to government stats, the weekly average case rate is understood to have risen 66% in just two weeks.
London's cases doubled in a week, with 60% the new strain.
The new strain is blamed for a sudden surge in hospitalisations.
Wales and Northern Ireland have already announced a post-festive shutdown. But Boris had previously said he was “hoping very much that we’ll be able to avoid anything like that”.
But speaking on a tour of a telecoms training hub in Bolton, he admitted: “The reality is that infection rates have increased very much in the last few weeks.”
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