There is a new Coronavirus strain spreading in London and Kent, South East England. And so, London closes everything. From Wednesday to dawn, the lockdown returns in the British capital. The UK Minister of Health Matt Hancock confirmed on Monday, speaking to the Parliament. “About a thousand people are infected with this new variant. That is developing mainly in south-east England, in Kent, and which has now also reached London.” Hancock said, adding that the 60 local districts found the variation of COVID-19, and the contagion numbers are quickly growing.
The characteristics of this new strain of the coronavirus are not well known yet. The British minister explained that it doesn’t seem to be more dangerous or deadly than the previous wave, but it sure is spreading faster than other variants. Will Pfizer’s vaccine and others be effective against this strain as well? Hancock responded that from clinical studies, it seems highly unlikely that the vaccine will not be able to make people immune to this latter mutation. “But this shows that we must be vigilant and follow the anti-Covid rules and restrictions because we must stop the spread of the virus.” He spoke.
Also, for this new strain and the exponential growth of cases in London, 24 thousand new contagions in a week, even worse than Manchester and Liverpool, the capital is back to “Tier 3,” the maximum alert level in the UK, which corresponds to a local lockdown. All pubs, restaurants, and bars will be closed again. These activities will only be able to do takeaways and deliveries. But they cannot serve alcohol. Any meeting with people outside the family is forbidden indoors, and gatherings are also forbidden outside. Hotels, stadiums are closed. Travel outside the residency area is not recommended. Schools, gyms, and essential shops remain open, even if Mayor Sadiq Khan is thinking to stop all elementary schools due to the significant increase in cases among children between the ages of 10 and 19.
In all this, the “free all” Christmas announced by the Central government remains in force. Boris Johnson decided that, from 23 to 27 December inclusive, three permanent families will be able to meet in private homes, without limits or obligation of social distancing. A measure that pleased many because they will be able to spend the Xmas holidays with the family, but which has triggered the wrath of scientists and doctors: for them, these five days of “freedom” could trigger outbreaks throughout the country and therefore cause a third national lockdown in January 2021. The royal family remains silent. Queen Elizabeth has not yet recorded her speech to the Nation for Christmas. According to The Sun, the queen is waiting to see the government’s next moves, in particular on Brexit and vaccine.