RELEXATION of coronavirus rules for Christmas have been cut to just one day for York residents, the Prime Minister has announced.
At today’s coronavirus press conference, Boris Johnson said a rapid spread of the virus in many parts of the South-east of England is “now being driven by a new variant” – with a case rate doubling time of seven days in some areas.
He added that Christmas cannot be continued “as planned” and Tier 3 and Tier 2 areas, such as York, can meet up to three households on Christmas Day only.
Meanwhile, London, The South East and the East of England will enter a new tier four-level from tomorrow – and must stay at home, with non-essential retail and indoor gyms to close. Tier 4 residents should also stay local and not travel abroad.
The governments Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said the new variant was first seen in mid-September in London and Kent.
He added by December it had become the “dominant variant” in London – and that the new British strain is 70 per cent more infectious than the existing strain currently present in the north.
The strain is thought to increase the R rate – the rate of transmission – by 0.4.
However, Sir Patrick Vallance added that the variant increases transmissibility but not lethality.