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Boris cancels Christmas for a THIRD from England amid the & # 39; mutated & # 39; Covid fears


Where will the new Tier 4 be from midnight?

Kent

Buckinghamshire

Berkshire

Surrey (without Waverley)

The boroughs of Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings

All 32 London boroughs and the City of London.

Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough

Hertfordshire

Essex (except Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring).

Boris Johnson was furious tonight when he dramatically canceled Christmas for 18 million people after pressing the panic button on a rampant new mutant coronavirus strain.

The Prime Minister has been charged with “inconsistency and confusion” following the extraordinary last-minute U-turn to move a third of England, including London and parts of the home countries, into a brutal new “Tier 4” from midnight.

The draconian bracket means non-essential shops must be closed and travel restrictions, including an order to stay at home on Christmas Day itself – even though Mr Johnson insisted a few days ago that it would be "inhuman" to have a five day celebration & # 39; Bubbles & # 39 ;.

The rest of England will not go unharmed. Up to three households are only allowed to mingle on Christmas Day and no longer between December 23 and 27.

Wales has also announced a full lockdown from midnight and will follow suit by reducing bubbles to a single day. Nicola Sturgeon said at her own press conference tonight that a ban on cross-border travel will be improved and the law will be changed to reduce bubbles to one day.

She also said that mainland Scotland will be at the highest level 4 from Boxing Day – by that time around 28 million people in all four UK countries will face the toughest restrictions.

There has been a wave of anger from MPs and families that the decision was made just six days before Christmas, when millions have already made plans, booked trips and bought groceries for reunions.

A clearly uncomfortable Mr Johnson told the nation tonight that he had "no alternative" but to act on the presentation, which just yesterday will provide convincing evidence of the devastating spread of the new strain.

While it doesn't seem more deadly, it's believed to be far more contagious, causing a staggering 60 percent of new cases in London over the past week.

Mr Johnson said it could increase the crucial R-rate by 0.4 and be 70 percent more portable than previous versions.

"We have to act now," he said and appealed to the public to "stay there" and "raise a glass for people who are not there". & # 39; We cannot continue Christmas as planned …

“I know how much emotion people invest in this time of year and how important it is for grandparents that their grandchildren and families are together.

“So I know how disappointing this will be. But I said during this pandemic that we must and will be guided by science. & # 39;

He added: “As your Prime Minister, I sincerely believe that I have no alternative. In the absence of action, the evidence suggests that infections would increase, hospitals would be overwhelmed, and many thousands more would lose their lives. & # 39;

Chief Science Officer Patrick Vallance said there had been no evidence yet that the mutation could reverse vaccines – comforting news for around 350,000 people who Mr Johnson announced had now received their first dose.

"This virus is spreading more easily and so more action is needed to keep it under control," he said.

He added, "Suppose you could be contagious."

Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer, said the danger is that people moving around the country would "sow" the variant. "This is a bad moment," he said.

What are the new Tier 4 rules?

The Tier 4 rules are essentially the same as the blanket bans England was under in November.

Unnecessary retail stores will have to close, as will leisure facilities and personal care products such as hairdressers.

However, places of worship can remain open.

People on other levels are advised not to go into the areas with the highest brace, while level 4 residents are not allowed to stay in lower infection sites.

The new Level 4, known as the "stay at home" alert, will be imposed on all existing Tier 3 areas in the Southeast including Kent, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey (excluding Waverley), Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings cover.

It also applies in London, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire and Essex – with the exception of Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring.

The rules will be essentially the same as the blanket lockdown England was under in November. Unnecessary retail stores will have to close, as will leisure facilities and personal care products such as hairdressers.

However, places of worship can remain open.

People on other levels are advised not to go into the areas with the highest brace, while level 4 residents are not allowed to stay in lower infection sites.

The rules apply for a minimum of two weeks, with the situation to be considered at the next review point on December 30th. Schools aren't immediately affected as they split over Christmas – but it's not clear what will happen if Tier 4 restrictions have to be maintained through January.

No. 10 stated that due to the "incredibly quick" events without a vote in parliament, the measures will take effect and there are "no plans" to recall MPs.

But the announcement enraged many Tories who are skeptical of the effectiveness of locks.

Mark Harper, who heads MPs' Covid Recovery Group, said the public must be given a "road map" to restore freedoms.

"Given the three-tier system and the original Christmas budget rules specifically approved by the House of Commons, these changes must also be put to a vote in the House of Commons at the earliest possible time, even if it means a recall of the House," he said.

Former Minister Sir Robert Syms added: "It is right and right that the government should call back Parliament to bring the evidence to Parliament and allow a vote on Level 4."

Union leader Keir Starmer said people feel "very upset and heartbroken". "The Prime Minister said three days ago" "Merry Christmas," said Sir Keir.

"When we need leadership, we have inconsistency and confusion."

Boris Johnson attends a Covid press conference today as he creates a new Tier 4 to address a new "highly contagious" variant of coronavirus

The news of the recent crackdown came as countless British people flocked to the main streets of the country (Oxford Street, picture) and the supermarkets to stock up on Christmas supplies

The news of the recent crackdown came as countless British people flocked to the main streets of the country (Oxford Street, picture) and the supermarkets to stock up on Christmas supplies

Anger over Boris & # 39; last minute turnaround for Christmas when the British say they ignore the new rules and complain that it was "just in time for everyone to have spent money on gifts, food and alcohol"

The British were furious with Boris Johnson's cancellation of Christmas for millions in London and the South East with just a few days' notice.

The Prime Minister held an emergency press conference this afternoon, moving parts of the Home Countries, including London, to a new "Tier 4".

That bracket includes the closure of non-essential stores and travel restrictions, including the “stay at home” order for Christmas Day itself, even though Mr Johnson only insisted a few days ago that five-day festive “bubbles” would take place.

The unusual U-turn has sparked outrage among families who have already made plans, booked trips and bought groceries for reunions. Many use social media to vent their anger.

A devastated user said, “I'm sorry, but my family has spent money on groceries for my family, all of which are coming in the next few days. I see my family twice a year and I am absolutely devastated because I can't explain how annoying and discouraging this is. & # 39;

A devastated user said, “I'm sorry, but my family has spent money on groceries for my family, all of which are coming in the next few days. I see my family twice a year and I am absolutely devastated because I can't explain how annoying and discouraging this is. & # 39;

One defiant tweeter said, "I've already made plans and spent money to visit my family. I'm not going to be home alone for Christmas four days in advance."

One defiant tweeter said, "I've already made plans and spent money to visit my family. I'm not going to be home alone for Christmas four days in advance."

Another added, “If you lock us up for Christmas - families who have spent hundreds of pounds preparing to see loved ones - you have shown what a completely incompetent leader you and your cabinet are are. Ashamed of you. & # 39;

Another added, “If you lock us up for Christmas – families who have spent hundreds of pounds preparing to see loved ones – you have shown what a completely incompetent leader you and your cabinet are are. Ashamed of you. & # 39;

A fourth said, "Oddly enough, just in time for everyone to spend on gifts for their bladder, grocery, and alcohol orders."

A fourth said, "Oddly enough, just in time for everyone to spend on gifts for their bladder, grocery, and alcohol orders."

A devastated user said, “I'm sorry, but my family has spent money on groceries for my family, all of which are coming in the next few days. I see my family twice a year and I am absolutely devastated because I can't explain how annoying and discouraging this is. & # 39;

One defiant tweeter said, "I've already made plans and spent money to visit my family. I'm not going to be home alone for Christmas four days in advance."

Another added, “If you lock us up for Christmas – families who have spent hundreds of pounds preparing to see loved ones – you have shown what a completely incompetent leader you and your cabinet are are. Ashamed of you. & # 39;

A fourth said, "Oddly enough, just in time for everyone to spend on gifts for their bladder, grocery, and alcohol orders."

Another said: “After losing my job, international emergency, illness, breakdown and everything else, I badly needed something to look forward to. Honeymoon matched the bill but was canceled three times. Christmas was the next best thing. I've been working on menus and precautions for weeks. & # 39;

Others tried to see the fun side by sharing memes, including one depicting the Prime Minister's recent U-turn and another where he was compared in circles to Will Ferrell's character in the Christmas movie Elf.

Cabinet had crisis talks this afternoon about containment of the mutant tribe, which is previously believed to be largely confined to the southeast. Michael Gove also held talks with the decentralized administrations.

When Mr Johnson spoke, it emerged that coronavirus cases in the UK rose 25 percent to 27,052 last Saturday.

This means that the total number of infections has exceeded two million.

Another 534 people have died – 14 more than last Saturday and 45 more than yesterday.

There was already speculation that England would have to follow Wales and Northern Ireland to announce draconian crackdown after Christmas.

The Welsh government previously split from the rest of the UK by cutting the Christmas bubbles from three to two households on December 23-27.

And tonight, First Secretary Mark Drakeford said the Level 4 lockdown will go into effect from midnight instead of waiting until December 28th.

"The latest evidence suggests that this new variety is present across Wales," said Drakeford. & # 39; The situation is incredibly serious. I can't go overboard.

& # 39; We have therefore made the difficult decision to move forward the Wales level four restrictions in line with the measures taken in London and the south-east of England.

& # 39; These new restrictions come into effect at midnight instead of the Christmas season.

'This means that non-essential retail stores, close contact services, gyms and leisure centers, and hospitality will close at the end of today's trade. The home stay restrictions will also come into effect at midnight. & # 39;

Nicola Sturgeon will later hold a press conference to say if Scotland is following suit in reducing bubbles.

When urging why he had resisted phone calls for so long to drop the Christmas bubbles before finally changing course, Mr Johnson admitted that he was "very confused" about the infections in Kent and on some other places continued to increase during the general closure.

"Obviously something was going on," he said.

But he also pointed out that many other countries are being forced to revise their restrictions. "I want to stress that we are not alone in this fight – many of our European friends and neighbors are being forced to take similar action," said Johnson.

"We are working closely with the decentralized administrations to keep people safe in every part of the UK."

Trying to get a more optimistic note despite the turmoil, Mr Johnson said, “Of course there is hope now – real hope – that we will get rid of this virus soon.

"That prospect grows with every day that goes by and every dose of vaccine administered."

Mr Johnson said Christmas this year would be a chance "to raise a glass to those who are not" in hopes that increased restrictions would allow families to meet again in the New Year.

He said bubbles for the elderly and lonely would provide "comfort" for canceled festive plans.

"I would say to those who have a much shorter Christmas now. Of course, we deeply regret that this is necessary this year," he said.

“I know how much love, care, and thought goes into preparing for Christmas.

"The message is that this is the year to raise a glass for those who are not there knowing that we all have a better chance of having Christmas with you this year." I will be there next year. & # 39;

When asked if it was “reckless to promise five days of Christmas against scientific advice,” Mr. Johnson said, “We have always considered scientific advice, always tried to follow it, and we do that today.

"Because science has changed significantly and has changed in the sense that our understanding of this new virus, its transferability, has only changed radically in the last 24 hours."

Mr Johnson added, "We just cannot ignore this and that is why today we are taking these extra steps to protect the country."

Sir Patrick said, “I think one way to think about it is to assume that you might be contagious.

“It's not someone else's problem, it's your own problem, you could be contagious and that's how we must act right now. Suppose you are contagious. «

Mr Johnson said it could "not be emphasized too often" that many coronaviruses were transmitted from people who were not having symptoms at the time.

The Prime Minister added, “I don't think people fully understand this now in a way that they may need, it's absolutely important I think.

"I think every third infection is still transmitted asymptomatically, and people really need to realize that."

Mr Johnson evaded whether the police would prevent people from traveling home during the holiday season or knock on doors on Christmas Day.

He said the officials had so far done an "amazing job" monitoring "light touch" and that the public in general had been compliant.

"(People) want to do it themselves, of course," he said.

"Most of the population is doing it themselves and doing it right, and they will continue to do it."

At her own briefing in Edinburgh, Ms. Sturgeon admitted that developments "made me cry" when she announced a "strict travel ban" during the festive period – although she did stress that Scotland has far fewer infections at the moment.

Sturgeon admits she “wants to cry” when she is banned from traveling for Christmas

Nicola Sturgeon admitted that Covid's recent setback "made me cry" when she announced a "strict travel ban" over Christmas.

The relaxation of indoor mixing restrictions will only apply on Christmas Day and the whole of Scotland will be placed in Level 4 restrictions for a minimum of two weeks from Boxing Day.

"To reduce the risk of more logs being imported into Scotland, we intend to maintain a strict travel ban between Scotland and the rest of the UK," she said.

“Unfortunately, and I'm really sorry, this ban will remain in place throughout the entire Christmas period.

“We just can't risk this new strain arriving in the country if we can possibly avoid it.

“That means people from Scotland don't visit other parts of the UK and vice versa.

"Cross-border travel for all but essential purposes is not permitted."

She added, “I want to cry. I know how unfair it is, but this virus is unfair. & # 39;

The relaxation of indoor mixing restrictions will only apply on Christmas Day and the whole of Scotland will be placed in Level 4 restrictions for a minimum of two weeks from Boxing Day.

"To reduce the risk of more logs being imported into Scotland, we intend to maintain a strict travel ban between Scotland and the rest of the UK," she said.

“Unfortunately, and I'm really sorry, this ban will remain in place throughout the entire Christmas period.

“We just can't risk this new strain arriving in the country if we can possibly avoid it.

“That means people from Scotland don't visit other parts of the UK and vice versa.

"Cross-border travel for all but essential purposes is not permitted."

She added, “I want to cry. I know how unfair it is, but this virus is unfair. & # 39;

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Mr Johnson's move was a "bitter blow" and the public "paid the price" for "irresponsible promises" that Christmas would be okay.

"London is facing the toughest Christmas since the war and the whole city has to pull itself together to see us through this terrible time," he said.

“Implementing restrictions is not enough – it is imperative that the government urgently and significantly increase mass testing.

“Providing greater financial support to businesses and the self-employed, which is currently utterly inadequate, is critical.

“The government needs to put in place a compensation system for any loss of income during the holiday season, as well as a full compensation package for those who have to self-isolate.

“Face covering should be mandatory in all busy public outdoor spaces.

& # 39; London and the country are paying the price for the government's ongoing failure to control the pandemic. This ongoing chaos and confusion could have been avoided if the government had not made irresponsible promises to the public and raised expectations for the holiday season.

“I urge Londoners to be very careful about the new restrictions so we can protect our NHS and prevent more tragic deaths. "It would be such a tragedy to lose more people to this disease if the vaccine is rolled out in our city now and these lives could be saved."

Chris Hopson, CEO of NHS Providers, said the chiefs of confidence had wanted strict restrictions to curb infection rates.

"These changes were inevitable as infection rates in London, the south-east and parts of the east of England have increased rapidly due to the new variant," he said.

& # 39; Trustees have consistently called for the restrictions to be as stringent as necessary to lower infection rates.

"It is therefore right that the government acted quickly to avert significant additional deaths and damage."

"The Worst Moment of the Pandemic": The new "Super-Covid" strain is 70% more contagious

The mutated coronavirus strain is 70 percent more infectious and accounts for 60 percent of the new cases in London, as it became known today.

Boris Johnson spoke at an emergency press conference this afternoon that the strain – which has spiked in cases in the south – could increase the critical R-rate by 0.4.

However, the English chief physician Professor Chris Whitty previously stressed that there was nothing to suggest that the new strain & # 39; VUI – 202012/01 & # 39; is more deadly or resistant to a vaccine.

The variant has caused the Prime Minister to dramatically cancel Christmas for millions of people in a shock announcement this afternoon.

A third of England – including London and parts of its home countries – will be switched to a brutal new "Tier 4" by midnight.

The draconian bracket closes non-essential businesses and travel restrictions, including an order to stay at home on Christmas Day itself – even though Mr Johnson insisted a few days ago that it would be "inhuman" to remove five-day festive "bubbles". .

UK Chambers of Commerce Director General Adam Marshall said: “Christmas has already been canceled for many companies, but more will now suffer from this last minute decision.

“While the government must act on public health issues, it must also consider the economic consequences of its actions. Will there be more help for companies that are being forced to close their doors – and for those who paid for stocks that they can't sell now? What support will there be for companies whose cash flow projections are again in chaos?

"Introducing an extra tier without warning or extra help is a big blow to business people who want nothing more than to be able to trade safely during the holiday season and beyond."

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said the government's "stop-start" approach to regulation was "deeply unhelpful".

Helen Dickinson, General Manager of the BRC, said: “We recognize that the government has difficult decisions to make and the pandemic situation is moving very quickly, but this is extremely unfortunate news.

& # 39; Retailers have invested hundreds of millions of pounds in making business Covid-proof for customers and employees.

& # 39; The consequences of this decision will be grave.

"For businesses, the government's stop-start approach is profoundly unhelpful. That decision is made just two weeks after the last national lockdown ended and in the midst of peak trading that so many depend on to fuel their recovery."

"With this news – and the prospect of losing £ 2 billion a week in sales for the third time this year – many companies will find themselves in serious trouble and many thousands of jobs could be at risk."

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson faces the prospect of a massive uprising from Tory MPs after Parliament was put on recess on Thursday – and No. 10 said it will not be called back to approve the new stage.

Mr Harper, who heads the Lockdown Defiant Tories' Covid Recovery Group, called for the Commons to be brought back to debate and voted on the changes.

& # 39; This is a very sad day. Lockdowns and increasingly stringent graduated restrictions have failed to achieve their goal of slowing the transmission of Covid, "said the former boss whip.

“And now the government expects people to sacrifice the chance to share Christmas with family, friends and loved ones just days after promising otherwise.

“If the government wants public and parliamentary support, it must publish a clear exit strategy from this nightmarish cycle of harmful bans and restrictions.

& # 39; Given the three tier system and the original Christmas budget rules specifically approved by the House of Commons, these changes must be put to a vote in the House of Commons immediately at the earliest possible time, even if it means a recall by the House. & # 39;

SAGE's latest estimates of the R-number – the average number of other people infected with the disease by each person – ranged from 1.1 to 1.2 in the UK yesterday.

It is the first time since the first week of national lockdown last month that the reproduction count is definitely above the all-important mark.

In England the rate is even higher, between 1.1 and 1.3, while experts warned it could be 1.4 in the east and 1.3 in London and the south-east.

Last week, the UK R number – which doesn't represent Friday's outbreak – was between 0.9 and 1.

Today's announcement is expected to leave 17.7 million people - roughly a third of the population of England - under the toughest Tier 4 lockdown

Today's announcement is expected to leave 17.7 million people – roughly a third of the population of England – under the toughest Tier 4 lockdown

Wales is pushing for full lockdown and reducing Christmas bubbles to one day

Wales has also announced a full lockdown from midnight and will follow England by slicing the bubbles into a single day.

First Secretary Mark Drakeford said the level 4 lockdown will go into effect from midnight instead of waiting until December 28, warning that the mutated Covid strain was in the country.

Mr Drakeford previously broke with the rest of the UK by cutting the Christmas bubbles from three to two households from December 23-27.

"The latest evidence suggests that this new variety is present across Wales," he said tonight.

& # 39; The situation is incredibly serious. I can't go overboard.

& # 39; We have therefore made the difficult decision to move forward the Wales level four restrictions in line with the measures taken in London and the south-east of England.

& # 39; These new restrictions come into effect at midnight instead of the Christmas season.

'This means that non-essential retail stores, close contact services, gyms and leisure centers, and hospitality will close at the end of today's trade. The home stay restrictions will also come into effect at midnight. & # 39;

Other versions of the coronavirus were found throughout the year, and experts say it is perfectly normal for the virus to change as it spreads and there is nothing to be concerned about.

Variants D614G and 20A.EU1 have been found to be widespread and spread faster than original versions from East Asia, but not more deadly.

But earlier this morning, Prof. Whitty made a statement confirming that the new variety is more contagious than previous strains.

He said: & # 39; As announced on Monday, the UK has identified a new variant of Covid-19 through Public Health England genomic surveillance.

& # 39; With the rapid spread of the new variant, preliminary model data and rapidly increasing incidence rates in the Southeast, the Advisory Group on New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats (NERVTAG) now believes the new strain can spread faster.

& # 39; We have alerted the World Health Organization and are continuing to analyze the available data to improve our understanding.

& # 39; There is currently no evidence that the new strain is causing a higher death rate or affecting vaccines and treatments, although urgent work is being done to confirm this.

"With this recent development, it is more important than ever that the public continue to take action in their area to reduce transmission."

Prof. Whitty's warning follows experiments at the Porton Down Wiltshire laboratory which found the new variant to be 50 percent more contagious than any previously identified strain.

Commenting on Professor Whitty's statement on Twitter, Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Following an earlier appeal for COVID from four nations, I will chair a cabinet meeting this afternoon to discuss emerging evidence of a new variant.

"Cases that are currently at a lower level in Scotland than the rest of the UK – but preventive measures may be needed to prevent the strain from spreading faster."

The news of the new variant came as countless British people flocked to the main streets and supermarkets of the country today to stock up on Christmas supplies.

Experts predict the UK registers will ring at a staggering £ 2.5m per minute to be spent before December 22nd, when shoppers focus on last minute gifts.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been pushing for tighter restrictions all week, but high-level government sources insist there are currently no plans for a third national lockdown or a fourth tier – although proposals are believed to have been worked out.

Tier 4 buyers and companies are kicking their teeth

Corporations have dubbed the new Tier 4 lockdown rules a "kick in the tooth" for struggling businesses while panicked Londoners wondered how to end their Christmas shopping.

Boris Johnson announced this afternoon that a third of England – including London and parts of the home countries – will be put into a brutal "Tier 4" lockdown from midnight.

In the draconian bracket, non-essential stores are closing and travel restrictions, including an order to stay at home for Christmas Day itself – although a few days ago Mr Johnson insisted it would be "inhuman" to get rid of five-day festive bubbles & # 39 ;.

The British Industry Association slammed the move as "a real kick in the teeth", claiming that many companies "expect to regain some lost ground during the Christmas shopping season".

And angry Brits used social media to express their frustration in the run-up to Christmas – and some popped the last minute change for devastating their shopping plans.

The Prime Minister is believed to have been presented with "alarming" new evidence of the mutant strain's harmfulness last night, but an expert said today it could be weeks before it is known how harmful it could be.

Professor Sir Mark Walport – a member of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) – said last night there was a real possibility that this could have a "carry-over benefit".

"What happens to viruses is they naturally mutate all the time and those that are likely to do well increase transmission," he told BBC2's Newsnight.

& # 39; We know this is a new variant seen in other countries, but it appears to be pretty widespread, suggesting that it has a carry-over advantage.

“Scientists are working very hard to find out what is going on. But it definitely seems possible that this could be carried over more easily.

"It will make social distancing even more critical."

It came after data was released yesterday that was used to justify inclusion of 38 million people in Tier 3, with the R number in the UK rising again above one.

A series of charts have been released by the Joint Biosecurity Center (JBC), the secret Whitehall organization tasked with assigning the Whack-a-Mole style locks after putting parts of the Southeast in the strictest brackets as part of the first shake -Up of the system since the end of the national shutdown.

They highlight the north-south divide that has formed since the country was excluded on December 2nd. London and the home countries are now bearing the brunt of the winter wave and epidemic in the northern tier 3 areas.

In the former hotspot regions of the North East and Yorkshire, a sea of ​​green has emerged since the lifting of national intervention, representing shrinking eruptions. The infections are now concentrated in and around London and its commuter belt.

London and the Southeast are expected to plunge into Tier 4 as a new, highly contagious variant of coronavirus roams the regions. Pictured: Oxford Street today

PM faces the Tory Tier 4 riot amid calls for a Commons recall

Boris Johnson faces a Tory riot as the Commons are due to be recalled over his new course of action.

The Prime Minister's Tier 4 announcement enraged many MPs who are skeptical of the effectiveness of lockdowns.

Mark Harper, who heads MPs' Covid Recovery Group, said the public must be given a "road map" to restore freedoms.

"Given the three-tier system and the original Christmas budget rules specifically approved by the House of Commons, these changes must also be put to a vote in the House of Commons at the earliest possible time, even if it means a recall of the House," he said.

Former Minister Sir Robert Syms added: "It is right and right that the government should call back Parliament to bring the evidence to Parliament and allow a vote on Level 4."

As of yesterday, 70 percent of England has been living under the toughest of restrictions despite significant differences in case rates between rural and urban areas within counties, and now another gross lockdown is looming in the New Year.

Mr Johnson, who was grilled by reporters on a visit to Bolton yesterday, refused to rule out another blanket lockdown in England – similar to those already announced for Wales and Northern Ireland – despite 38 million people already facing the toughest Tier 3 curbs are.

Any escalation could potentially mean that the order to stay home will be restored and unnecessary stores will have to be closed. When asked about the prospect of a new lockdown when visiting Bolton, Mr Johnson said, “We really hope we can avoid this. "But the reality is that infection rates have risen very sharply in the past few weeks."

NHS chiefs have warned hospitals are already creaking under the strain, fearing a "tsunami" of patients in January.

However, yesterday's analysis of the NHS data by MailOnline found that hospitals are still quieter than this time last year, and intensive care units have more space than last December.

Sir Mark said the country was in "a grave situation" on the way into the new year.

& # 39; The number of infections is currently very high. In London, in the south east east of England, it's increasing pretty quickly, ”he said.

“Even in those parts of the country where infection is under control, cases remain stubbornly high, so the NHS is under great pressure.

"We're going into a pretty serious situation in January where we need some pretty strong social distancing measures. If the virus changes, it's even more compelling."

The South Western Railway has announced that it will not run trains on its main route to the capital at the height of the holiday season for fear of staff shortages.

Covid cases are up a quarter compared to last week

UK coronavirus cases reported today rose 25 percent to 27,052 last Saturday.

This means that the total number of infections has exceeded two million.

Another 534 people have died – 14 more than last Saturday and 45 more than yesterday.

Oxford Vaccine "Will Be Approved Before New Years"

Oxford University's coronavirus vaccine is expected to be approved within days of Christmas, raising hopes that millions of people a week could soon be vaccinated.

Senior Whitehall sources are said to believe that the drug and health products regulator will approve the vaccine on December 28th or 29th. They are waiting for the final data from the Oxford scientists to be made available on Monday.

The latest positive sign comes after Professor Sarah Gilbert, the lead researcher behind the new vaccine, said Friday she hoped the sting was "not too far off" from approval.

And Professor Martin Marshall, the chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said Saturday morning that the Oxford sting will enable the vaccination process at a "much faster pace".

The rail company said it would only offer connections between the Tier 2 areas of Exeter and Basingstoke until December 24, but not to London, which is subject to the strictest restrictions.

As a result, passengers are having to use other services between Basingstoke and the capital, which are likely to be overcrowded, adding to concerns about the spread of the virus.

It is the second company to make such an announcement after South Western announced it would cut services on Christmas due to the Covid-enforced absence of employees.

Many feared that the five-day Christmas break between December 23 and 27 would put severe pressure on the country's rail network.

Just yesterday, Mr. Johnson was giving advice to people on how to be safe in Christmas bubbles.

In a message on Twitter, he said it was "important" that people start minimizing contact with people outside their bladders to "avoid passing the virus on to loved ones at Christmas".

„Wenn Sie eine Weihnachtsblase bilden, ist es wichtig, dass Sie ab heute den Kontakt mit Menschen außerhalb Ihres Haushalts minimieren.

"Everyone must take personal responsibility to avoid the virus being passed on to loved ones at Christmas."

He added that the three household limit was "a maximum" and not a "goal to aim for".

Experten warnen jedoch davor, dass das Weihnachtsessen die „perfekten Bedingungen“ für die Ausbreitung des Coronavirus darstellt.

Professor Stephen Reicher, ein Sozialpsychologe von der University of St. Andrews, sagte gegenüber Times Radio: „Weihnachten ist ein Geschenk an das Virus. Wenn Sie die perfekten Bedingungen für die Ausbreitung von Viren wollen, sollten Sie drinnen sein, an einem Ort, der nicht gut belüftet ist, an einem Ort, an dem es Alkohol gibt, damit wir unsere Hemmungen vergessen und das Weihnachtsessen perfekt beschreiben. & # 39;

Prof. Reicher, Mitglied der Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B), die die Scientific Advisory Group für Notfälle (Sage) berät, fügte hinzu: „Natürlich wollen wir diesem Virus keine Geschenke machen, wir wollen auf uns selbst aufzupassen und der beste Weg, das zu tun, denke ich, ist leider zu verschieben, wenn wir können.

„Ich erkenne, dass es für einige Familien sinnvoll ist, sich zu treffen. Ich meine, wenn Sie einen älteren Verwandten haben, der möglicherweise kein weiteres Weihnachtsfest sieht, oder wenn jemand stark leidet, wird es Ausnahmen geben.

"Aber wenn wir die Ausnahme zur Regel machen und wenn sich viele Menschen treffen, dann stehen wir wirklich vor einer Katastrophe."

Er argumentierte, dass die Menschen, die sich während der fünf Tage entspannter Maßnahmen über Weihnachten trafen, "zu lang" seien und dass die Vermischung von Haushalten aus verschiedenen Regionen des Landes "die Pandemie wieder in Gang bringen" könne.

Boris Johnsons Pressekonferenz Nr. 10, in der Tier 4 vollständig angekündigt wird

Es tut mir leid zu berichten, dass sich die Situation verschlechtert hat, seit ich vor drei Tagen das letzte Mal mit Ihnen gesprochen habe.

Gestern Nachmittag wurde ich über die neuesten Daten informiert, die zeigen, dass sich das Virus in London, im Südosten und im Osten Englands schneller ausbreitet, als es angesichts der bereits geltenden strengen Beschränkungen zu erwarten wäre.

Ich erhielt auch eine Erklärung dafür, warum sich das Virus in diesen Gebieten schneller verbreitet. Es scheint, dass diese Verbreitung jetzt von der neuen Variante des Virus getrieben wird, von der wir Anfang dieser Woche zum ersten Mal erfahren haben.

Unsere Beratergruppe für neue und aufkommende Bedrohungen durch Atemwegsviren – NERVTAG – hat in den letzten Tagen die neue Variante analysiert.

Es gibt keine Hinweise darauf, dass die Variante eine schwerere Erkrankung oder eine höhere Sterblichkeit verursacht, sie scheint jedoch wesentlich leichter weitergegeben zu werden.

Die frühe Analyse von NERVTAG legt nahe, dass die neue Variante R um 0,4 oder mehr erhöhen könnte. Obwohl erhebliche Unsicherheiten bestehen, kann es bis zu 70% übertragbarer sein als die alte Variante.

Dies sind frühe Daten. Es unterliegt einer Überprüfung. Es ist das Beste, was wir im Moment haben, und wir müssen auf Informationen reagieren, wie wir sie haben, weil sich diese jetzt sehr schnell verbreiten.

Großbritannien verfügt bei weitem über die weltweit beste Fähigkeit zur Genomsequenzierung, was bedeutet, dass wir neue Stämme wie diesen besser identifizieren können als jedes andere Land.

Der Chief Medical Officer hat gestern Abend unsere bisherigen Ergebnisse der Weltgesundheitsorganisation vorgelegt, und wir werden gegenüber unseren globalen Partnern weiterhin völlig transparent sein.

Es gibt noch viel, was wir nicht wissen. Obwohl wir ziemlich sicher sind, dass die Variante schneller übertragen wird, gibt es keine Hinweise darauf, dass sie tödlicher ist oder schwerere Krankheiten verursacht. Ebenso gibt es keine Hinweise darauf, dass der Impfstoff gegen die neue Variante weniger wirksam sein wird.

Unsere Experten werden ihre Arbeit fortsetzen, um unser Verständnis der Variante zu verbessern.

Wir lernen also im Laufe der Zeit mehr über diese Variante.

Aber wir wissen schon genug, um sicher zu sein, dass wir jetzt handeln müssen.

Ich habe gestern Abend und als erstes heute Morgen Minister im Covid Operations Committee getroffen, und das Kabinett hat sich zur Mittagszeit getroffen, um die folgenden Maßnahmen zu vereinbaren.

Zunächst werden wir neue Beschränkungen in den am stärksten betroffenen Gebieten einführen – insbesondere in den Teilen von London, im Südosten und im Osten Englands, die sich derzeit in Tier 3 befinden.

Diese Gebiete werden in eine neue Stufe 4 aufgenommen, die im Großen und Ganzen den im November in England geltenden nationalen Beschränkungen entspricht.

Das bedeutet:

· Einwohner in diesen Gebieten müssen zu Hause bleiben, abgesehen von den gesetzlich festgelegten begrenzten Ausnahmen.

· Nicht unbedingt benötigte Einzelhandelsgeschäfte, Fitnessstudios und Freizeiteinrichtungen sowie Körperpflegedienste müssen geschlossen sein.

· Menschen müssen von zu Hause aus arbeiten, wenn sie können, können aber zur Arbeit reisen, wenn dies nicht möglich ist, beispielsweise im Bau- und Fertigungssektor.

· Personen sollten keine Tier 4-Bereiche betreten oder verlassen, und Tier 4-Bewohner dürfen nicht über Nacht von zu Hause wegbleiben.

· Individuals can only meet one person from another household in an outdoor public space.

Unlike the November national restrictions, communal worship can continue to take place in tier 4 areas.

These measures will take effect from tomorrow morning.

All tiers will continue to be regularly reviewed in line with the approach previously set out, with the next formal review point taking place on 30 December.

Second, we are issuing new advice on travel.

Although the new variant is concentrated in tier 4 areas, it is nonetheless present at lower levels around the country.

We are asking everyone, in all tiers, to stay local.

People should carefully consider whether they need to travel abroad and follow the rules in their tier.

Those in tier 4 areas will not be permitted to travel abroad apart from limited exceptions, such as for work purposes.

Third, we must, I am afraid, look again at Christmas.

As Prime Minister, it is my duty to take the difficult decisions, to do what is right to protect the people of this country.

Given the early evidence we have on this new variant of the virus, and the potential risk it poses, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you we cannot continue with Christmas as planned.

In England, those living in tier 4 areas should not mix with anyone outside their own household at Christmas, though support bubbles will remain in place for those at particular risk of loneliness or isolation.

Across the rest of the country, the Christmas rules allowing up to three households to meet will now be limited to Christmas Day only, rather than the five days as previously set out.

As before, there will be no relaxation on 31 December, so people must not break the rules at New Year.

I know how much emotion people invest in this time of year, and how important it is for grandparents to see their grandchildren, and for families to be together.

So I know how disappointing this will be, but we have said throughout this pandemic that we must and we will be guided by the science.

When the science changes, we must change our response.

When the virus changes its method of attack, we must change our method of defence.

As your Prime Minister, I sincerely believe there is no alternative open to me. Without action, the evidence suggests infections would soar, hospitals would become overwhelmed and many thousands more would lose their lives.

I want to stress we are not alone in this fight – many of our European friends and neighbours are being forced to take similar action.

We are working closely with the devolved administrations to protect people in every part of the UK.

Of course there is now hope – real hope – that we will soon be rid of this virus.

That prospect is growing with every day that passes and every vaccine dose administered.

The UK was the first country in the western world to start using a clinically approve vaccine.

So please, if the NHS contacts you then get your vaccine – and join the 350,000 people across the UK who have already had their first dose.

Yes, Christmas this year will be very different, but we must be realistic.

We are sacrificing our chance to see loved ones this Christmas, so we have a better chance of protecting their lives so we can see them at future Christmases.

As sure as night follows day, we will beat back this virus.

We will defeat it.

And we will reclaim our lives.

'This is the worst moment of the pandemic', says SAGE expert as it's revealed new 'Super-Covid' strain is 70% MORE infectious and makes up 60% of new cases in London

A SAGE expert has called the emergence of a new mutant strain of coronavirus that has forced the cancellations of Christmas as the 'worst moment of the pandemic' – as it was revealed the variant is 70 per cent more infectious than others.

British epidemiologist John Edmunds said today that as far as he's concerned 'this is the worst moment of the epidemic because of the extraordinary infectivity of the new strain' of Covid-19.

Speaking at an emergency press conference this afternoon, Robert Peston from ITV News questioned Boris Johnson, Professor Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance about the statement.

In response, England's chief medical officer Mr Whitty insisted the new strain – which has caused the Government to place London and the South East in a new Tier 4 of restrictions – was another of 'so many terrible moments in this epidemic.'

He added: 'But I have to say in my own view this is not the worst moment in the epidemic.'

Mr Johnson today warned the new strain – which has caused a spike in cases in the south – could increase the crucial R rate by 0.4.

But Mr Whitty earlier stressed there is nothing to suggest that new strain 'VUI – 202012/01' is more deadly or resistant to a vaccine.

The variant has caused the PM to dramatically cancel Christmas for millions of people in a shock announcement this afternoon.

A third of England – including London and swathes of the home counties – will be shifted up to a brutal new 'Tier 4' from midnight.

The draconian bracket will see non-essential shops shut and travel restrictions including a 'stay at home' order for Christmas Day itself – even though Mr Johnson insisted just days ago that it would be 'inhuman' to axe five-day festive 'bubbles'.

The mutations of the coronavirus have resulted in changes in the spike protein on its outside (shown in red), with which the virus binds to the human body (original image of the virus by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

The mutations of the coronavirus have resulted in changes in the spike protein on its outside (shown in red), with which the virus binds to the human body (original image of the virus by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

New variant of coronavirus – key questions

– Is this something unusual?

There have been many mutations in the virus since it emerged in 2019.

This is to be expected – SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus and these viruses mutate and change.

Public Health England (PHE) said that, as of December 13, 1,108 cases with this new variant had been identified, predominantly in the south and east of England.

It has been named VUI-202012/01, the first variant under investigation in December.

– What has Prof Whitty said?

Prof Whitty said that the UK has informed the World Health Organisation that the new variant coronavirus can spread more rapidly.

In a statement on Saturday, he said that following the rapid spread of the new variant, preliminary modelling data and rapidly rising incidence rates in the South East, the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) now consider that the new strain can spread more quickly.

– Is this something to be worried about?

If the virus spreads faster it will be harder to control.

However, there have already been various strains of Covid-19 with no real consequence.

The Covid-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium said it is difficult to predict whether any given mutation is important when it first emerges, and that it would take "considerable time and effort to test the effect of many thousands of combinations of mutations".

It said the biggest concern is any changes that lead to an increase in reinfections or vaccine failure, and that most attention is on mutations in the gene that encodes the spike protein.

There are currently about 4,000 mutations in the spike protein gene.

Prof Whitty has said that there is no current evidence to suggest the new strain causes a higher mortality rate or that it affects vaccines and treatments.

But he said that "urgent work" was under way to confirm this and warned that it was "more vital than ever" that people continued to take action to reduce the spread of the virus.

– How fast is it spreading?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a Downing Street briefing that early analysis showed the new strain could increase the reproductive rate by 0.4 or more and that it may be up to 70% more transmissible than the old variant.

Sir Patrick said the variant, which was thought to have emerged in mid-September in London or Kent, had a "significant substantial increase in transmissibility".

He added that by December over 60% of infections in the capital had been the new variant, saying: "It moves fast and is becoming the dominant variant."

– Will the tier system stop the spread of this new strain?

Prof Whitty said that the tier system was holding cases in other parts of the country but the new variant posed a risk to tiers.

"If you have a low amount of this variant, the rate of increase is held by the tiers, but if you have a very high rate of this variant, then it is not held sufficiently by the tiers and it is going up rapidly," he said, adding that people should not travel and risk spreading the variant around the country.

He said there was a risk of the variant "going out to other areas of the country where it currently is not a problem".

But he said measures such as social distancing and limiting contact were the ones to use.

– Is it the first novel strain detected in the UK?

A number of variants have been detected using sequencing studies in the UK.

A specific variant (the D614G variant) has previously been detected in western Europe and North America, which is believed to spread more easily but not cause greater illness.

But it is thought this is the first strain that will be investigated in such detail by PHE.

– Are new variants always a bad thing?

Nicht unbedingt. They could even be less virulent.

However, if they spread more easily but cause the same disease severity, more people will end up becoming ill in a shorter period of time.

– Should we expect the virus to become more harmful?

Not really. Only changes that make viruses better for transmission are likely to be stable and result in new circulating strains.

The pressure on the virus to evolve is increased by the fact that so many millions of people have now been infected.

Most of the mutations will not be significant or give cause for concern, but some may give the virus an evolutionary advantage which may lead to higher transmission or mean it is more harmful.

– Will vaccines still work?

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the latest clinical advice is that it is highly unlikely that this mutation would fail to respond to a vaccine.

The vaccine produces antibodies against many regions in the spike protein, and it is unlikely a single change would make the vaccine less effective.

However, this could happen over time as more mutations occur, as is the case every year with flu.

PHE said this new variant includes a mutation in the spike protein and that changes in this part of the spike protein may result in the virus becoming more infectious and spreading more easily between people.

– So what are the scientists doing now?

Scientists will be growing the new strain in the lab to see how it responds.

This includes looking at whether it produces the same antibody response, how it reacts to the vaccine, and modelling the new strain.

It could take up to two weeks for this process to be complete.

COG-UK is carrying out random sequencing of positive samples across the UK to compile a sequencing coverage report, which is sent to each of the four public health agencies each week.

It said random sampling is important to capture regional coverage.

– If it's not that big a deal, why do we care?

While other variants have been identified in the past, it appears this particular strain is spreading quite fast, meaning it could be more transmissible, and therefore warrants further investigation.

Professor Sir Mark Walport, a member of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said there was a possibility that it could have a "transmission advantage".

– What examples are there of other virus strains?

The Danish government culled millions of mink after it emerged that hundreds of Covid-19 cases in the country were associated with SARS-CoV-2 variants associated with farmed mink – including 12 cases with a unique variant, reported on November 5.

In October a study suggested that a coronavirus variant that originated in Spanish farmworkers spread rapidly throughout Europe and accounted for most UK cases.

The variant, called 20A.EU1, is known to have spread from farmworkers to local populations in Spain in June and July, with people then returning from holiday in Spain most likely playing a key role in spreading the strain across Europe.

'We must act now,' he said, appealing for the public to 'stay local'. 'We cannot continue with Christmas as planned….

'I know how much emotion people invest in this time of year and how important it is for grandparents to see their grandchildren and families to be together.

'So I know how disappointing this will be. But I have said throughout this pandemic that we must and will be guided by the science.'

He added: 'As your Prime Minister, I sincerely believe there is no alternative open to me.

'Without action, the evidence suggests infections would soar, hospitals would become overwhelmed and many thousands more would lose their lives.'

The variant was first picked up in Kent in September and appears to be linked to an explosion of infections in London and the southeast.

There have been more than 1,000 confirmed cases of the new strain, mostly in southern England. However, exact locations were not disclosed.

Cases in Kent have increased since England's second lockdown began, with the seven-day average rising from 90.1 on October 5 to 1,306.4 on December 11.

And the county's daily death toll was similar: 21 were reported on December 11, compared to none on October 5.

Cases are also increasing in London with 6,931 cases and 42 deaths reported today alone.

Extensive parts of the southeast were placed in Tier 3 on Wednesday due to increasing cases in the region.

In a statement this afternoon, Professor Whitty said: & # 39; As announced on Monday, the UK has identified a new variant of Covid-19 through Public Health England's genomic surveillance.

& # 39; With the rapid spread of the new variant, preliminary model data and rapidly increasing incidence rates in the Southeast, the Advisory Group on New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats (NERVTAG) now believes the new strain can spread faster.

& # 39; We have alerted the World Health Organization and are continuing to analyze the available data to improve our understanding.

& # 39; There is currently no evidence that the new strain is causing a higher death rate or affecting vaccines and treatments, although urgent work is being done to confirm this.

"With this recent development, it is more important than ever that the public continue to take action in their area to reduce transmission."

His warning followed experiments from the Porton Down laboratory in Wiltshire which found the new variant to be 50 percent more contagious than any previously discovered strain.

Overall, the southeast has seen a surge in cases from September when the seven-day average case load was 156.4. On December 11th, that number was 3,804.4.

Scientists this week claimed that the new strain of coronavirus spreading across the UK has a "remarkable" number of mutations.

Members of the UK Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) who studied the developed strain say they discovered 17 changes that they described as "a lot".

Many of the changes have occurred in the virus' spike protein, which is used to attach to human cells and cause disease.

Changes at the top are significant as most Covid vaccines in the works, including the Pfizer / BioNTech approved sting, target this protein.

It is feared that these changes could also prevent people from becoming immune if previously infected with another strain.

However, scientists, including Professor Whitty, said there was "no evidence" that the mutation, which was discovered in Wales, Scotland, Denmark and Australia, will affect vaccines.

Professor Nick Loman of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham and a member of COG-UK said, “There are actually 17 changes that would affect protein structure in any way that differentiate this variant from its kind of common ancestor. that are in circulation, which is a great deal.

"It's noticeable. There is a really long branch that goes back to the common ancestor, and it is of great interest why it does."

Most Covid vaccines train the immune system to recognize and attack spike proteins if the virus tries to become infected in the future.

However, if the shape of the spike proteins is changed by mutations, the virus can potentially slip through the body's natural defenses.

COG-UK said it was spreading faster than the dominant strain, which was imported by vacationers from Spain in the summer and which now accounts for the majority of infections.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the existence of the tribe on Monday, revealing that there was no clear evidence that this version could spread faster, but that it was growing far faster than any other tribe in the country.

Neither Public Health England nor COG-UK, the organizations that discovered the strain, could confirm where the cases were found.

Online-Laboraufzeichnungen legen nahe, dass die erste Instanz des Virus am 20. September vom Lighthouse Lab der Regierung in Milton Keynes stammte, und PHE sagte gestern, dass die Person, die den Tupfer zur Verfügung stellte, aus Kent stammte.

Professor Tom Connor, a genomics and virus expert from Cardiff University and a member of COG-UK said: 'It’s quite clear that it has spread beyond that (South East England) and it is it is spreading into other parts of the country.'

A history of the virus published online by the Neher Lab at the University of Basel in Switzerland shows how it has become more common over time.

Progress has been slow according to the virus' first official records in September, and it wasn't until the UK's second wave began in late October that cases exploded.

There is no current evidence to suggest the new strain causes a higher mortality rate or that it affects vaccines and treatments although urgent work is underway to confirm this.

"With this recent development, it is more important than ever that the public continue to take action in their area to reduce transmission."

His warning followed experiments from the Porton Down laboratory in Wiltshire which found the new variant to be 50 percent more contagious than any previously discovered strain.

Overall, the southeast has seen a surge in cases from September when the seven-day average case load was 156.4. On December 11th, that number was 3,804.4.

Scientists this week claimed that the new strain of coronavirus spreading across the UK has a "remarkable" number of mutations.

Members of the UK Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) who studied the developed strain say they discovered 17 changes that they described as "a lot".

Many of the changes have occurred in the virus' spike protein, which is used to attach to human cells and cause disease.

Changes at the top are significant as most Covid vaccines in the works, including the Pfizer / BioNTech approved sting, target this protein.

It is feared that these changes could also prevent people from becoming immune if previously infected with another strain.

However, scientists, including Professor Whitty, said there was "no evidence" that the mutation, which was discovered in Wales, Scotland, Denmark and Australia, will affect vaccines.

Professor Nick Loman, from the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham and COG-UK member, said: 'There is actually 17 changes that would affect the protein structure in some way that distinguish this variant from its kind of common ancestor of other variants that are circulating, which is a lot.'

Chris Whitty confirmed this afternoon that a new mutant strain of coronavirus is more contagious - as he warns cases are "increasing rapidly" in the southeast

Chris Whitty confirmed this afternoon that a new mutant strain of coronavirus is more contagious – as he warns cases are "increasing rapidly" in the southeast

His testimony comes as cases continue to rise in the southeast - 1,709 positive tests were carried out in Kent alone yesterday (Kent's daily case graph, picture)

His testimony comes as cases continue to rise in the southeast – 1,709 positive tests were carried out in Kent alone yesterday (Kent's daily case graph, picture)

Overall, the southeast has seen a surge in cases from September when the seven-day average case load was 156.4. On December 11th, that number was 3,804.4 (daily graph shown)

Overall, the southeast has seen a surge in cases from September when the seven-day average case load was 156.4. On December 11th, that number was 3,804.4 (daily graph shown)

21 died after testing positive in Kent on December 11th compared to none on October 5th (daily graph shown)

21 died after testing positive in Kent on December 11th compared to none on October 5th (daily graph shown)

"It's noticeable. There is a really long branch that goes back to the common ancestor, and it is of great interest why it does."

Most Covid vaccines train the immune system to recognize and attack spike proteins if the virus tries to become infected in the future.

However, if the shape of the spike proteins is changed by mutations, the virus can potentially slip through the body's natural defenses.

COG-UK said it was spreading faster than the dominant strain, which was imported by vacationers from Spain in the summer and which now accounts for the majority of infections.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the existence of the tribe on Monday, revealing that there was no clear evidence that this version could spread faster, but that it was growing far faster than any other tribe in the country.

Neither Public Health England nor COG-UK, the organizations that discovered the strain, could confirm where the cases were found.

Online-Laboraufzeichnungen legen nahe, dass die erste Instanz des Virus am 20. September vom Lighthouse Lab der Regierung in Milton Keynes stammte, und PHE sagte gestern, dass die Person, die den Tupfer zur Verfügung stellte, aus Kent stammte.

Professor Tom Connor, a genomics and virus expert from Cardiff University and a member of COG-UK said: 'It’s quite clear that it has spread beyond that (South East England) and it is it is spreading into other parts of the country.'

A history of the virus published online by the Neher Lab at the University of Basel in Switzerland shows how it has become more common over time.

Progress has been slow according to the virus' first official records in September, and it wasn't until the UK's second wave began in late October that cases exploded.

This could be because the strain of the virus is spreading faster and cases are rising faster, according to scientists – or because it was simply found more frequently when cases were rising naturally.

At the time of the first sample, the UK had an average of just 3,700 positive coronavirus tests per day. By early November, when the samples were arriving thick and fast, the average number of positive results had risen to 23,000 per day.

Professor Loman said there was "no evidence" that the strain came from another country, adding, "It kind of comes out of nowhere.

'We have a long gap between the first cases we saw with this variant in late September (and recent surge in cases)… It’s more likely to have evolved in the UK but we don’t know that.

'There are very few examples of this variant in other countries at the moment – it’s really a kind of UK phenomenon.'

And he said the reason that the strain had been brought to public attention now was that it was spreading so fast.

Although it still makes up a small proportion of cases it is rapidly becoming a bigger factor and this could be because it spreads more quickly than other strains.

Up to 20 percent of cases in Norfolk are believed to be due to the new strain – but officials haven't confirmed the numbers.

The scientists admitted it could be a coincidence but said they would expect other strains to see similar surges, which they haven't.

The mapping of coronavirus samples confirmed to have mutations in the VUI - 202012/01 shows that almost all of them were in England (large green circle indicates proportional number of samples in England, not geographic area covered), but has also been found in Scotland, Wales and Denmark

The mapping of coronavirus samples confirmed to have mutations in the VUI – 202012/01 shows that almost all of them were in England (large green circle indicates proportional number of samples in England, not geographic area covered), but has also been found in Scotland, Wales and Denmark

Surveillance of the strain shows it is increasing faster than all other strains except the dominant one, and has been making up an increasing share of the total infections (The new strain is shown in pink, and the timeline runs from May to December)

Surveillance of the strain shows it is increasing faster than all other strains except the dominant one, and has been making up an increasing share of the total infections (The new strain is shown in pink, and the timeline runs from May to December)

The variant appears to be spreading faster than the dominant variety (20A.EU1) when it came to the UK from Spain in the summer.

Professor Loman called it 'unusual' and added: 'That one did sweep the country and become the dominant variant quite quickly, and remains the dominant variant in the UK. The initial modelling shows this one is growing faster than that one.'

Professor Connor said, “There are a large number of circulating lines in the UK, but the most important thing to think about is to watch the rise over time.

'The results that came initially from modelling were that this is something that seems a bit out of ordinary, in our experience.'

HOW DOES THE MUTATE STRAIN OF CORONAVIRUS HAVE EMERGE?

Like all viruses, the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has a piece of genetic code which contains all the information the virus needs to survive and reproduce.

It is made of RNA, which is a single stranded version of its more famous bigger brother, DNA. RNA besteht aus vier Arten von Molekülen, die einfach als A, U, C und G bekannt sind.

Drei dieser Basen in einer Reihe bilden die Blaupause für größere Moleküle, die als Aminosäuren bekannt sind und die Bausteine ​​aller organischen Dinge auf der Erde sind.

Sobald das Virus die Zellen einer Person wie eine menschliche Lungenzelle infiziert hat, vermehrt es sich, indem es die menschliche Zelle zwingt, ihre RNA zu lesen und mehr Viren zu produzieren.

Diese Repliken sind so konzipiert, dass sie genau gleich sind, was möglich ist, weil die RNA dieselbe ist, aber manchmal können die Zellen den genetischen Code falsch lesen und einen Fehler verursachen. This is where mutation occurs.

Ein Fehler im Prozess kann dazu führen, dass eines der A, U, C, G entweder gelöscht oder gegen ein anderes ausgetauscht wird, wodurch sich die physische Form des Virus ändert.

Other causes of mutations include interactions with other viruses infecting the same cell and changes induced by the host's or a person's own immune system.

Most mutations to SARS-CoV-2 are due to the latter, researchers have said previously.

These happen completely at random and are common.

Forscher haben festgestellt, dass die Mutationsrate von SARS-CoV-2 im Vergleich zu anderen Viren wie Grippe und HIV ungewöhnlich langsam ist.

Trotzdem ist das SARS-CoV-2 mutiert, wobei mehrere verschiedene Stämme aufgetaucht sind.

One, D614G, emerged in February and is now the dominant strain worldwide.

Dies geschieht auf dem Spike-Protein, das an den ACE2-Rezeptor bindet und es dem Virus ermöglicht, die Zelle zu infizieren. The mutation, at the 614th location on the spike, saw a 'D' code for aspartate to a 'G' for glycine.

The new mutation occured at the 501st location on the spike protein and saw a 'N' code for the amino acid Asparagine which changed to a 'Y' for Tyrosine.

Of the three bases which code for the amino acid, only one was incorrect. Instead of being AAU, it ended up being UAU. Diese einzelne Änderung veränderte die produzierte Aminosäure und beeinflusste die Struktur der Spitze.

In addition to this swap, two amino acids named H69 / V70 were deleted, which are located on the first subunit of the spike protein in the receptor binding domain, a key location where the spike binds to the ACE2 receptor.

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