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The UK imposes tighter rules amid new COVID strain


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Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed an effective lockdown on over 16 million people in England and reversed plans to ease curbs over Christmas, saying Britain was dealing with a new coronavirus strain up to 70% more transmissible than the original.

Although Johnson and his scientific advisors believe vaccines will still be effective, and the new strain is not more deadly or more serious in terms of the illness caused, he said on Saturday the government had to take urgent action.

The number of cases in England has soared in the last two weeks because of the virus variant.

Johnson tore up plans to allow three households to mix indoors for five days over the festive period, and said London and southeast England, which are currently in the highest level of a three-tier system of rules, would now be placed in a new Tier 4 level, similar to those of a recent national lockdown.

“It is with a very heavy heart I must tell you we cannot continue with Christmas as planned,” Johnson told a news conference. “I sincerely believe there is no alternative open to me.”

People in Tier 4 - 16.4 million and about a third of the population of England - will be required to stay at home except for essential reasons such as work, and non-essential retail will close, as will indoor leisure and entertainment.

Social mixing will be limited to meeting one other person in an outdoor space. The new rules will come into effect from midnight on Saturday.

Johnson, whose initial response to the pandemic has been criticised for being too slow, had resisted calls to change plans for the Christmas relaxation, saying on Wednesday it would be “frankly inhuman” to ban it.

However, those now in Tier 4 will not be allowed to mix with others over Christmas. And everyone else in England will now be allowed to see friends and family only on Christmas Day itself, Dec. 25.

The UK’s other nations, whose response to the pandemic differs from that of England at times, also took action.

Scotland said on Saturday it would impose a ban on travel to the rest of the United Kingdom, and the Christmas easing would be limited to Dec. 25 only. All of Wales will go into Tier 4 from midnight, but two households can mix on Christmas Day.

Like other countries in Europe, Britain is battling to contain new waves of the virus. It reported 27,052 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, taking the total over 2 million, and 534 more deaths, taking the overall official toll to more than 67,000.

England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said the authorities had alerted the World Health Organization and were continuing to analyse the data.

“There’s no evidence to suggest it is more lethal or causes more severe illness,” Johnson said. “There’s no evidence to suggest the vaccine will be any less effective against the new variant.

Other countries have also reported variants of the virus. South Africa said on Friday one such strain was driving a second wave of infections there.

Source: London Reuters 

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You have no idea how effing pissed I am. Not because of the virus, I can't really change that, but because of the way they've been handling the situation.

It was pretty damn clear that the situation wasn't going to get better and YET the four nations unanimously agreed to ease the restrictions for 5 days for Christmas. The decision was made in November! They PROMISED that everything would be okay and provided that people follow the restrictions, things should be fine. And now what?! 5 days before Christmas, they scrap everything. My question is: when it was pretty damn clear where we were going, why did the politicians make a promise and thus gave hope to certain people only to cancel it last minute?! 

I understand that the new strain is very infectious and all that but it was a mistake to promise something that clearly wasn't going to happen. Again, the issue is the way it's being handled. I'm not entirely sure how well the whole tier-system is working. The news really made me upset. Oh well. Here's to another year of craziness. 

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53 minutes ago, Geralt_of_Rivia said:

You have no idea how effing pissed I am. Not because of the virus, I can't really change that, but because of the way they've been handling the situation.

It was pretty damn clear that the situation wasn't going to get better and YET the four nations unanimously agreed to ease the restrictions for 5 days for Christmas. The decision was made in November! They PROMISED that everything would be okay and provided that people follow the restrictions, things should be fine. And now what?! 5 days before Christmas, they scrap the everything. My question is: when it was pretty damn clear where we were going, why did the politicians make a promise and thus gave hope to certain people only to cancel it last minute?! 

I understand that the new strain is very infectious and all that but it was a mistake to promise something that clearly wasn't going to happen. Again, the issues is the way it's being handled. I'm not entirely sure how well the whole tier-system is working. The news really made me upset. Oh well. Here's to another year of craziness. 

It is really sad, especially for people who wanted to go home to see their families :(

Luckily a few of my friends that moved to London have come back home just a few days ago to spend Xmas with their family here! So they are really lucky they are already here or they wouldn't have been allowed to leave London.

It is super annoying I completely agree with you, they've been SO stupid throughout!

I hope you're okay and you still get to enjoy christmas :hugs_madonna_britney_ftr_2008_circus_hugging_friends_support:

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2 minutes ago, Slayer said:

It is really sad, especially for people who wanted to go home to see their families :(

Luckily a few of my friends that moved to London have come back home just a few days ago to spend Xmas with their family here! So they are really lucky they are already here or they wouldn't have been allowed to leave London.

It is super annoying I completely agree with you, they've been SO stupid throughout!

I hope you're okay and you still get to enjoy christmas :hugs_madonna_britney_ftr_2008_circus_hugging_friends_support:

Thanks! Happy about your friends. I still don't know what's happening with Christmas but there's a very small chance that I might celebrate it on my own as I'm far away from my family and I don't know what my friends will decide. Oh well. Hope you're doing better haha

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6 minutes ago, Geralt_of_Rivia said:

Thanks! Happy about your friends. I still don't know what's happening with Christmas but there's a very small chance that I might celebrate it on my own as I'm far away from my family and I don't know what my friends will decide. Oh well. Hope you're doing better haha

Aww well I hope you do get to spend it with others! :hugs_madonna_britney_ftr_2008_circus_hugging_friends_support: If not i'll be messaging you all the time to make sure you're okay and keep you company haha :) 

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I’m so ******* fed up of this government. They have handled this so badly. None of the rules have been consistent. 

I feel truly sorry for those who have been following the rules, who may not have seen their family/relatives at all this year and were hoping to spend Christmas with them, and now a lot can’t because of tier 4. But at the same time, it pisses me off the amount of people who seemed to find it funny to just ignore the fact that we’re in a pandemic. 

tbh I don’t even know how much longer we can be in lockdown and these ‘tiers’. They don’t really seem to be working. People will just break the rules and I think those who have been following the rules are getting fed up. I have been trying SO HARD with following the rules and have barely been able to see my friends and do anything fun this year. 

However, I am incredibly grateful that I still live with my own family and will be able to celebrate Christmas with them like I always have. I know this isn’t the same for others.

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All my friends in London are forced to stay home,  several live by themselves..

 

They're crying cos Christmas is really cancelled.  They only moved to London cos where they came from the country side. It's hard to be gay and things. 

 

They regret moving cos they had no idea that a pandemic would start the time they decide to enjoy freedom.  

 

Bottom line. He's still craving the freedom to have fun with men..

 

Since doctors basically said casual hookups are not recommended during a pandemic. 

 

Many moved in a guy that Rocks their world as it was advised to have a live in f buddy during the pandemic.  To have hookups safely. 

 

Cos you breathe during kissing and other acts. Breathing is airborne. 

 

So even then covid can still get passed. Cos I can't see nobody wanting to not suck mouth during a hook up..

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And the news is only getting worse what with the port of Dover halting traffic for 48 hours. I need to get some essentials tomorrow and I can already tell that people will be panic buying. 

On top of that, every other country  in Europe banning flights from the UK (which is justifiable tbh). This is like Brexit on another scale. :kidcries_crying_sad_tearing_up_sobbing:

As for people having casual hook ups during this time? I don't understand their logic or thought process. It's stupid beyond belief. I've actually cut ties with a few people over this because their views are so different to mine. It's hard enough living during this without negative input from others who just want to get their hole. 

Sorry for that rather varied rant. :ohdear_britney_glory_dear,_fingers_hand_face_orange_hide_uh_oh:

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2 hours ago, Spicechinodiva said:

All my friends in London are forced to stay home,  several live by themselves..

 

They're crying cos Christmas is really cancelled.  They only moved to London cos where they came from the country side. It's hard to be gay and things. 

 

They regret moving cos they had no idea that a pandemic would start the time they decide to enjoy freedom.  

 

Bottom line. He's still craving the freedom to have fun with men..

 

Since doctors basically said casual hookups are not recommended during a pandemic. 

 

Many moved in a guy that Rocks their world as it was advised to have a live in f buddy during the pandemic.  To have hookups safely. 

 

Cos you breathe during kissing and other acts. Breathing is airborne. 

 

So even then covid can still get passed. Cos I can't see nobody wanting to not suck mouth during a hook up..

Da fuq you talking about? What does gay and hook ups have to do with the OP? AND who are you talking about when you say "Bottom line. He's still craving the freedom to have fun with men"? Sorry I've seen you post sooo much and it's like you think things in your mind and then type out the next idea. We have no clue what the fuq you're talking about. :wow_surprised_shocked_omg:

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