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U.K. orders strict lockdown as coronavirus variant surges

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday ordered a brand new lockdown throughout Britain in an effort to include a brand new variant of the coronavirus. In a televised tackle, Johnson referred to as the following few weeks a “important second” within the nation’s struggle towards COVID-19.

The brand new measure forces the closure of all colleges, shutters private care providers equivalent to barbers and hairdressers, and bans in-person eating at eating places. Whereas fines do apply for many who go away their properties with out legitimate excuses, there are exemptions in place for these gathering meals, going to and from childcare, getting medical provides, or true emergencies.

Residents are requested to restrict train open air to as soon as a day. Assembly multiple individual outdoors your home for picnics or drinks will not be allowed.

Johnson stated he understood the “inconvenience and misery” the fast college closures would have on households.

“We have been doing all the things in our energy to maintain colleges open as a result of we all know how vital every day in schooling to kids’s life possibilities,” stated Johnson. “The issue will not be that colleges are unsafe for kids — kids as nonetheless not possible to be severely affected by the brand new variant of COVID-the drawback is that colleges could nonetheless act as vectors for transmission, inflicting the virus to unfold between households.”

The brand new variant of COVID-19 was first detected in southeast England and is already fueling a dramatic surge in case. Greater than 50,000 new coronavirus circumstances are being recorded every day and hospitals in some areas are already overburdened by an inflow of sufferers. Johnson stated the brand new variant is between 50 and 70% extra transmissible, making it extra more likely to catch the virus and go it on.

Earlier than the announcement, over two-thirds of Britain had already been beneath the tightest, “Tier 4” restrictions. “Critically, if everybody performs their half by following the principles, then I hope we will steadily transfer out of lockdown,” stated Johnson.

The fast-spreading variant of COVID-19 has already traveled from the U.Ok to different areas across the globe. Most not too long ago, it has been detected in New York, California, and Colorado, in sufferers with out latest journey historical past. In keeping with main infectious illnesses knowledgeable Dr. Anthony Fauci, there are “doubtless extra circumstances” of the brand new pressure round within the U.S.

Greater than 2.7 million folks have contracted the virus within the U.Ok., with over 75,000 deaths, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College.

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