London [UK], December 19 (ANI): Days before Christmas, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday announced new tier-4 COVID-19 restrictions in parts of England, including London, due to the rapid spread of a new variant of coronavirus, limiting the celebrations.
"We will introduce new restrictions in the most affected areas, specifically...London, the Southeast and East of England, which are currently in tier 3. These areas will enter new tier 4, which will be broadly equivalent to national restrictions, which were placed in England in November," Johnson said in an address to the nation as quoted by Sputnik.
"That means residents in those areas must stay at home, apart from limited exemptions... people must work from home if they can... individuals can only meet one person from another household in outdoor public space... We cannot continue with Christmas as planned," he added.
The Chief Medical Officer for England, Chris Whitty, earlier on Saturday, called on the nation to remain vigilant as a recently discovered variant of the coronavirus was rapidly spreading, Sputnik reported further.
On Monday, UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock announced the discovery of a new strain of the disease, which was reported in roughly 1,000 individuals in southern England.
"As a result of the rapid spread of the new variant, preliminary modelling data and rapidly rising incidence rates in the Southeast, the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) now consider that the new strain can spread more quickly," Whitty said in a statement published by the UK government online.
As per the latest update by Johns Hopkins University, the UK has reported 2,010,069 COVID-19 cases and 67,177 deaths from the virus. (ANI)