British Prime Minister Johnson says: ‘We cannot go ahead with Christmas as planned’

British Prime Minister Johnson says: 'We cannot go ahead with Christmas as planned'

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the Christmas gatherings cannot continue and that non-essential stores must be closed in London and most of southern England, as he imposed a new level of higher restrictions on the Corona virus on the region to reduce the spread of infection quickly.

Johnson said on Saturday that the capital and other areas in southern England are currently subject to Level 3, the highest level of coronavirus restrictions, to move to the new, stricter Level 4 which requires nonessential stores, hairdressers and indoor entertainment venues to close after the end. From business hours on Saturday.

He also said that the planned five-day facility for socializing rules that would allow up to three families to meet in “Christmas bubbles” for Tier 4 zones would be scrapped. Mixing of families would only be allowed under very limited conditions outside in public places.

A birthday bubble for a day for some

In the rest of England, Johnson said, people would only be allowed to meet in Christmas bubbles for one day instead of December 23 to December 27, as originally planned.

“With a very sad heart, I must tell you that we cannot go ahead with Christmas as planned,” the prime minister said.

“We have said throughout this pandemic that we must all be guided by science. When the science changes, we must change our response,” he said.

Johnson was discussing with his top ministers on Saturday the urgent action to take after England’s chief medical officer, Dr Chris Whitty, said a government virus advisory group believed a new strain of the coronavirus could spread more quickly.

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Watch | You do not need to worry about the new Corona virus strain, as the virologist says:

British virologist Julian Tang says that the new strain of Corona virus discovered in Britain will likely remain vulnerable to vaccines developed to combat COVID-19. 0:49

Whitty said that while there is no current evidence that a variant of the new coronavirus has caused a higher death rate or affected vaccines, urgent work is underway to confirm this.

“We have alerted the WHO and are continuing to analyze available data to improve our understanding,” he said in a statement.

The government said on Monday that increased infections across London and the southeast of England may be linked to a new, more transmissible form of the virus.

Britain reported 28,507 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and 489 deaths, with the number of “R” breeds estimated between 1.1 and 1.2, meaning the number of cases is increasing rapidly.

Johnson hopes to ease restrictions on Christmas

Johnson said Friday he hoped England did not need a third lockdown after Christmas, and has so far resisted calls to change plans to ease restrictions for five days over the holiday period, allowing three separate families to meet indoors.

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Watch | The COVID-19 vaccine may need to be modified regularly:

British virologist Julian Tang says, just like the annual flu vaccine, mutations of the virus that cause COVID-19 may mean that the vaccine needs to be modified or changed regularly to maintain its effectiveness. 0:38

“Failure to act decisively now means more suffering. We must constantly ask ourselves, ‘Are we doing enough, are we acting fast enough? Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of the government’s Emergency Scientific Advisory Group on Twitter.

The opposition Labor Party said the graduated system had failed to curb the spread of the virus.

“It was clear a few days ago that the virus was out of control again in parts of the country,” said Jonathan Ashworth, a Labor health spokesman.

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