Christmas coronavirus restrictions have been tightened, the government confirmed.Advertisement
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said due to the rising Covid-19 infection rate in England and a new mutation of coronavirus which has recently begun spreading in the South East of England.
Previous restrictions allowed three households to meet indoors from 23 December – 27 December, forming a Christmas bubble. But this has been scrapped.
Mr Johnson said: “We cannot continue with Christmas as planned.
“Across the rest of the country, the Christmas rules will now be limited to Christmas Day only for three households meeting indoors.
“There will be no relaxation of the rules on 31 December. People must not break the rules on New Year.”
He urged people to ‘stay local’.
Mr Johnson said a new strain of coronavirus has been identified.
He said the new Covid was up to 70% more transmissable and had the ability to significantly push up the R rate.
However, he said the new Covid strain was not showing any signs of being any more lethal or ‘worse’ in terms of symptoms. He said the vaccine roll-out was unaffected.
For Preston, and Lancashire, you can meet with up to two other households indoors on Christmas Day itself.
The city, and county, remains in tier-3 restrictions.
See the latest coronavirus cases and information near you
The Prime Minister also announced London and swathes of South East England will move into tier-4 restrictions from 00.01 on Sunday (20 December).
Tier-4 restrictions are similar to the second national lockdown restrictions – with non-essential shops, gyms and leisure facilities closing.
You can watch the full press conference below
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