Boris ‘considering restricting travel’ to southeast as ‘mutated Covid’ spreads

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Boris Johnson is believed to be considering restricting travel in the south east of England after a worrying rise in cases of a mutated-coronavirus.

The Prime Minister is reportedly mulling-over a scheme to beef up the rules in hotspot areas surrounding the capital and south coast.

It comes after Matt Hancock told the House of Commons that cases were spiralling in some of the home counties and London.

The Health Secretary told the Commons on Thursday: “In the south east of England cases are up by 46% in the last week. Hospital admissions are up by a third.

"In the east of England cases are up two thirds, and hospital admissions are up by nearly half.

"It is therefore necessary to apply Tier Three measures to a much wider area of the South and South East of England."

According to reports in The Telegraph, Boris is now considering an emergency toughening of restrictions, which could be announced as soon as Saturday.

An unscheduled meeting of top ministers was organised on Friday to discuss the mutated strain of the killer bug.

It is understood the strain has been largely confined to the south east, where infection rates are among the worse in the UK.

Matt Hancock placed the majority of the south in Tier Three on Thursday – but the strain is so worrying that harsher rules might be enforced.

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Among the options being discussed included a plan to restrict travel to the south-east, according to reports.

A source told the Telegraph: “The evidence that the new strain of the virus more easily transmits from one person to another has hardened up.”

Whitehall sources have reportedly refused to rule out a press conference on Saturday to announce additional restrictions.

Mr Johnson has been adamant that he will not change the law allowing up to three households to get together over Christmas, but has already advised families to keep their "bubbles" as small as possible.

It comes amid rising pressure from opposition MPs and health experts for BoJo to u-turn on his plans to relax the rules over Christmas.

A joint editorial from leading medical journals said the plans for eased restrictions were rash and would cost Brits lives.

  • Coronavirus
  • Lockdown
  • Boris Johnson
  • Christmas
  • London

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