Stringent curbs as new Covid variant hits UK

London, December 20

A surge in the infection rate caused by a new Covid variant has led to millions entering a stringent new stay-at-home lockdown in the UK from Sunday, with non-essential shops and businesses now closed.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new rules on Saturday evening, which means a planned five-day Christmas bubble of relaxed rules has been cancelled. “We have alerted the WHO,” said Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England.

The Netherlands and Belgium on Sunday banned flights from the UK and Germany to ensure that the new strain of Covid does not establish a strong foothold on the continent. Italy has planned to suspend flights to and from UK over virus fears. — Agencies

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