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UK imposes tough new restrictions to fight virus

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Tough new coronavirus restrictions have begun in the U.K. with Scotland and Northern Ireland under tighter measures to try to halt a new variant of the virus that is believed to spread more quickly.

Measures that were relaxed for Christmas day in Wales have also been re-imposed, said an AP report.

The number of people under the country’s top level of restrictions — Tier 4 — increased by 6 million on Saturday to 24 million people, around 43% of Britain’s population.

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 No indoor mixing of households is allowed and only essential travel permitted. Gyms, pools, hairdressers and stores selling nonessential goods have been ordered to close.

A further 570 deaths from COVID-19 were reported in the last 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 70.195. More than 32,700 new cases of the disease were reported on Christmas day.

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