The relaxation of the coronavirus measures for Christmas in the UK has been tightened again for England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday.
From Sunday, new Tier 4 rules will be implemented in London and south-east England, including areas such as Kent, Essex and Bedfordshire, reports BBC.
This means that people living in those areas have to stay at home, teleworking will be mandatory where possible, and people not being allowed to travel, except for school or work.
Additionally, people will only be allowed to meet one other person in an open public space, and all non-essential shops will also have to close, as will hairdressers, nail bars, indoor gyms and other leisure facilities.
For the rest of England, the so-called “Christmas Covid bubble” that allowed three households to mix for five days, has been cut short to only Christmas day.
Everyone living in a Tier 4 zone will not be allowed to mix indoors with anyone who does not live under the same roof as them, reports The Guardian.
The restrictions will remain in place for two weeks, and will be reviewed on 30 December.
The measures follow a sharp rise in coronavirus infections in the area, driven by a new variant of the virus, according to Johnson.
There is no evidence that this new variant makes people sicker or that it is more deadly, but it seems to be more infectious, possibly up to 70% more than the first version of the virus, he said.