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UK: London to impose highest level of COVID-19 restrictions

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London and surrounding areas will be placed under the highest level of coronavirus restrictions from Wednesday as infections rise rapidly in the capital, Britain’s health secretary said Monday, adding that a new variant of the virus may be to blame for the spread.

Matt Hancock said the government must take swift action after seeing “very sharp, exponential rises” in Greater London and nearby Kent and Essex. He said that in some areas, cases are doubling every seven days, reported AP.

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 Under Tier 3 restrictions, the toughest level in England’s three-tier system, people can’t socialize indoors and restaurants must close except for takeout.

People are told to minimize traveling within or to the area, and Hancock said people shouldn’t take trips into central London to do their Christmas shopping.

In November, London was among areas with the lowest regional infection rates in England. But some areas in and around London have now become virus hot spots.

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