U.K. COVID-19 Mutation ‘Out of Control’, Londoners Try to Flee City, Countries Ban Flights
Thousands attempt to flee London after the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduces a new 'Tier 4' lockdown following the Health Secretary Matt Hancock having said the newly discovered coronavirus mutation is “out of control.
Thousands attempt to flee London after the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduces a new ‘Tier 4’ lockdown following the Health Secretary Matt Hancock having said the newly discovered coronavirus mutation is “out of control.”
In a dramatic move by Johnson, millions of Britons in the UK will no longer be permitted to visit other households for Christmas after he introduced a new ‘Tier 4’ lockdown in response to concerns over a new rapidly spreading strain of the coronavirus.
“Cases have absolutely rocketed,” Hancock reportedly told Sky News. People in the new Tier 4 areas “should behave as though they have it,” he said referring to the new highly infectious strain of coronavirus.
The U.K. Prime Minister also reneged on a planned five-day easing of restrictions during Christmas holidays for those living outside of London and South Wales. People living in all of England will now also be subjected to tightening restrictions and permitted just a single day of relaxed restrictions for the holiday. Citizens across the country were told to keep to only their local areas.
“Given the early evidence we have on this new variant of the virus, and the potential risk it poses, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you we cannot continue with Christmas as planned,” Johnson said in news conference.
The Tier 4 lockdown went into force on Sunday requiring over 16 million Britons who live in London and southeast England to stay in their homes.
Videos uploaded to social media have shown Londoners attempting to flee the stricter lockdown on trains Saturday evening.
U.K. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement that police will be deployed to stop people from taking ‘unnecessary journeys’ out of the capital.
Other nations have responded by banning travel to the U.K. including the Netherlands and Belgium. Both have suspended flights from the country while Belgium also halted trains arriving from England.
Italy, France, Austria and Germany are also considering a move to ban travel to the United Kindgon.
Reports indicate that the new mutated coronavirus has already spread to South Africa, Australia and other parts of continental Europe.
Emerging scientific evidence suggests the new highly infectious variant can spread significantly more quickly than previous strains.
U.K. health Minister Hancock also said there is “no evidence” that the new strain is any milder or less dangerous as some had hoped.
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