ough new journey restrictions for London and different components of the south-east are reportedly being thought-about by Downing Avenue as ministers attempt to fight the unfold of a brand new pressure of Covid-19.
Boris Johnson reportedly held unscheduled talks in regards to the new “extremely contagious” mutated pressure, with limits to journey between the capital and the remainder of the UK apparently being thought-about to curb the unfold.
Based on studies, Mr Johnson held an unscheduled assembly of ministers on Friday amid “rising concern” in regards to the risk posed by the mutant pressure – which is regarded as spreading quickest in London and Kent.
The Telegraph is reporting that ministers are contemplating “chopping off” the realm from the remainder of the UK, with potential bans between zones the place the “extremely contagious” coronavirus variant is excessive and elsewhere.
Scientists have warned the brand new variant is as much as 50 instances extra contagious than any pressure detected earlier than. It’s understood Mr Johnson was offered with new information in regards to the new pressure of the virus on the assembly on Friday night time.
Well being Secretary Matt Hancock has been pushing for tighter restrictions all week. Nevertheless, senior authorities sources insist there aren’t any present plans for a 3rd nationwide lockdown or a fourth tier – although proposals are understood to have been drawn up.
Professor Sir Mark Walport – a member of the Authorities’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) – mentioned there was an actual risk that it may have a “transmission benefit”.
“What occurs with viruses is that they do naturally mutate on a regular basis and those which can be prone to do nicely are those that improve transmission,” he informed BBC2’s Newsnight.
“We all know that this can be a new variant, it has been seen in different nations nevertheless it appears to be fairly widespread which means that it’s got a transmission benefit.
“Scientists are working extraordinarily arduous to work out what’s going on. Nevertheless it does positively appear potential that this transmits extra simply.
“It is going to make the social-distancing much more crucial.”
Downing Avenue wouldn’t touch upon studies that among the many measures being thought-about by ministers have been new journey restrictions for the south-east of England.
Nevertheless, the assembly comes as giant components of the area have been following London and enormous components of Essex and Hertfordshire, which entered the hardest Tier 3 restrictions earlier this week.
The NHS in Kent introduced that it was suspending non-urgent hospital procedures because it was treating double the variety of sufferers it had on the peak of the primary wave in April.
In the meantime, newest figures from Sage confirmed the copy quantity, or R worth, of coronavirus transmission throughout the UK is estimated to have risen to between 1.1 and 1.2 – which implies the unfold of the illness is accelerating.
With fears that the enjoyable of the restrictions over Christmas may result in an additional upward spike, Mr Johnson on Friday refused to rule out the potential of a 3rd nationwide lockdown for England within the new yr.
“We’re hoping very a lot that we can keep away from something like that. However the actuality is that the charges of an infection have elevated very a lot in the previous few weeks,” he informed reporters throughout a go to to Bolton.