Tens of millions face new UK virus restrictions; border chaos eases



Robust new coronavirus restrictions have begun in the UK, with Scotland and Northern Eire underneath tighter measures

The variety of folks underneath England’s prime stage of restrictions — Tier 4 — elevated by 6 million on Saturday to 24 million folks general, round 43% of England’s inhabitants. The area included London and plenty of of its surrounding areas.

No indoor mixing of households is allowed, and solely important journey permitted. Gyms, swimming pools, hairdressers and shops promoting nonessential items have been ordered to shut and pubs and eating places can solely do takeout. Enterprise teams say the restrictions will likely be economically devastating to their members.

Fears in regards to the U.Ok.’s new variant have sparked every week of border chaos. Round 1,000 British troopers spent Christmas Day attempting to clear an enormous backlog of vehicles stranded in southeast England after France briefly closed its border to the U.Ok. and demanded coronavirus checks from all drivers.

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However Britain’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps mentioned Saturday that greater than 15,000 drivers had been examined and that the backlog at a testing web site at Manston Airport was cleared by Sunday morning. Solely 36 constructive checks had been reported, he mentioned on Twitter.

“An enormous THANK YOU to everybody who’s labored tirelessly over the previous few days to cut back the massive disruption brought on by the sudden French border closure,” Shapps tweeted.

The primary instances of the U.Ok.’s new variant have now been detected in France and Spain. A French man residing in England arrived in France on Dec. 19 and examined constructive for the brand new variant Friday, the French public well being company mentioned. He has no signs and is isolating at his house within the central metropolis of Excursions.

In the meantime, well being authorities within the Madrid area mentioned they’d confirmed the U.Ok. variant in 4 folks, all of whom are in good well being. Regional well being chief Enrique Ruiz Escudero mentioned the brand new pressure had arrived when an contaminated particular person flew into Madrid’s airport.

In her annual Christmas handle, Queen Elizabeth II, who has spent a lot of the 12 months isolating at Windsor Fortress along with her husband Prince Philip, delivered a heartfelt message of hope praising the “indomitable spirit” of those that have risen “magnificently” to the challenges of the pandemic.

The 94-year-old queen and her 99-year-old husband Prince Philip had been setting an instance by not visiting relations as normal over Christmas.

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Observe AP’s protection at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak



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