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UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that the new strain of coronavirus was “out of control” and suggested that parts of England remain stuck in the new, highest level of restrictions pending a vaccine introduction

More than 16 million Britons are now forced to stay at home after a lockdown went into effect in London and south-east England on Sunday and the government abandoned plans to relax the rules on socializing this Christmas

Measures to combat the fast-spreading new variant of the virus prohibit mixing of households in these areas and limit socializing in the rest of England to Christmas Day.Respents across the country have been told to be in their local areas , and additional police officers were deployed at the stations to prevent people from traveling out of London

“Cases have skyrocketed so we still have a long way to go,” Hancock told Sky News. “I think it will be very difficult to keep it under control until the vaccine is in place “People in the new Tier 4 areas should act like they have it,” he said,

Hancock said that by Saturday morning 350000 people had been vaccinated, with the aim of getting 500 by the end of the weekend000 to reach

Johnson originally planned to relax pandemic rules for five days during the vacation, but made an abrupt change after emergency talks with officials about the virus mutation

New scientific findings suggest that the new variant – which, according to Hancock, has also appeared in Australia and continental Europe – can spread significantly faster than previous strains in circulation and is behind the increase in infections in recent days

“We pledged not to know that there will be a new strain that will spread so much faster,” Hancock said of the original plans. He said there was “no evidence” that the new strain would be – VUI-202012/01 – is milder than the original virus

Maria Van Kerkhove, technical director of Covid-19 at the World Health Organization, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr program: “We understand that the virus does not cause any more serious diseases”

Videos shared on social media showed a shot for trains from London on Saturday night

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement that more traffic cops are being deployed to deter people from taking unnecessary trips out of the capital, Shapps is considering compensation for canceled tickets, Hancock said

Lisa Nandy of the opposition Labor Party said the policy change was “a perfect example” of Johnson making “a promise he knew he couldn’t keep over Christmas””

“I think we have this ongoing exchange of blows from the government,” Nandy told Andrew Marr

Charles Walker, a lawmaker for Johnson’s Conservative Party, told the Sunday Telegraph that Hancock should resign. Another Tory MP, Mark Harper, who represents a caucus opposed to lockdown measures, urged the government to open lawmakers to call from their vacation so that a vote can be taken on the tightened virus measures

UK COVID mutation, Boris Johnson

World news – CA – UK”Hancock says new Covid mutation is ‘out of control’