SCOTLAND will ban journey from England over the festive interval to cease the unfold of a extremely contagious new pressure of coronavirus.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon additionally introduced the nation would go into lockdown on Boxing Day – as Wales was plunged into Tier 4 restrictions from midnight tonight.
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Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tonight introduced a “strict journey ban” between Scotland and the remainder of the UK through the festive intervalCredit score: Common Information & Sport (Europe)
Cardiff is seen full of consumers at the moment, with Tier 4 restrictions loomingCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
First Minister Mark Drakeford additionally confirmed that festive bubbles can solely be shaped on Christmas DayCredit score: PA:Press Affiliation
It comes after guidelines have been resulting from be relaxed throughout the UK from December 23 to twenty-eight to permit households to spend Christmas collectively.
However Christmas plans have been plunged into chaos amid warnings from medical specialists of a “frighteningly transmissible” new variant of the bug in London and the South East, which might unfold as much as 70 per cent extra simply.
The emergence of the brand new pressure led Boris Johnson to cancel Christmas for thousands and thousands of Brits residing in London and the South East – with the areas plunged into Tier 4 lockdown from midnight tonight.
In a press convention this night, Ms Sturgeon stated Scotland confronted the “most critical and doubtlessly harmful juncture now we have confronted because the begin of the pandemic” – however the nation may act “on a preventative foundation” by banning journey from different areas.
The five-day easing of restrictions in Scotland has additionally been reduce to only at some point, although Ms Sturgeon urged Scots solely to journey on Christmas day “if there isn’t any various”.
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All of Scotland will enter Stage 4 – the hardest of the nation’s 5 ranges of restrictions – for 3 weeks from Boxing Day.
Non-essential retailers will shut as will cafes, eating places and hairdressers.
The most recent figures present 17 circumstances of the brand new variant tearing by the South East of England have been present in Scotland, with the First Minister warning it “may take maintain” within the nation with out agency motion.
Faculties will open for key staff as regular, however the majority of pupils is not going to return from January 11, with on-line studying till at the least January 18.
Scotland has the bottom case price within the UK, with 112.6 circumstances per 100,000 of the inhabitants.
Ms Sturgeon stated the emergence of the brand new pressure was the rationale for harsher restrictions, including: “If it wasn’t for this new pressure, I would not be standing right here proper now saying this as a result of our case ranges proper now are literally fairly steady.”
WALES IN LOCKDOWN
In the meantime, non-essential retail, shut contact providers, gyms and leisure centres and hospitality will shut in Wales as a part of harsh new restrictions.
First Minister Mark Drakeford stated ‘keep at house’ restrictions would additionally come into impact from midnight.
He stated: “Sadly, we should additionally look once more on the preparations for Christmas – we can not expose folks to the chance of this new, extra virulent pressure of coronavirus.
“We are going to due to this fact change the present guidelines, which permit two households to come back collectively to kind a Christmas bubble over a five-day interval, in order that they’ll apply on Christmas Day solely.
“All through the Alert Stage 4 interval, a single individual family will be capable of be a part of with one different family.
“Whereas all of us need to keep away from additional disruption to companies and plans for Christmas, our overriding responsibility is to guard lives right here in Wales.”
He added: “We all know that 2021 might be a special and a greater 12 months.
“Our economic system will recuperate. Christmas will come once more.”
The choice comes amid a surge in infections in Wales, with the newest figures displaying a case price of 592.3 circumstances per 100,000 folks primarily based on the seven days as much as December 14.
In the meantime in London and the South East of England, journey and completely different households mixing might be banned underneath the new highest level tier – with households elsewhere solely allowed to kind ‘Christmas bubbles’ on December 25 itself.
Mr Johnson warned the nation he couldn’t ignore the terrifying new pressure spreading in Kent and London, and vowed: “We now have to behave to guard the general public.”
It is thought the brand new pressure – referred to as VUI202012/01 – emerged in London and the South East as early as September, Sir Patrick Vallance stated at a Downing Avenue briefing.
Total Covid circumstances have greater than doubled, as information exhibits a pointy enhance in hospital admissions throughout London and the South.
Talking at the moment at a No10 briefing, the Prime Minister stated the brand new pressure is as much as “70 per cent extra transmissible” than the unique model of the illness”.
He careworn it’s early information however advised the general public “it is the most effective now we have in the intervening time”, including it may see the R price enhance by 0.4.