Bovis Johnson is in talks with his cabinet amid warnings from scientists about a new strain of COVID-19 and epidemics.
The Prime Minister made the cabinet call and will hold a press conference at 4pm with the Chief Medical Officer of the United Kingdom Chris Witty and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Valens, Downing Street reported.
Sky News understands that the Prime Minister will announce new measures for London and the Southeast, those areas will be added to the new Tier 4, and there will be more restrictions around Christmas.
Government advisers have warned ministers to trust the new variant COVID-19 It spreads faster than previous strains, and Sky News understands the risk that the easing of public attitudes will offset the benefits of the vaccine roll in the coming months.
The new variant is believed to trigger an increase Corona virus Cases throughout the Southeast.
Professor Witty told the World Health Organization (WHO) in the UK on Saturday that the new variant corona virus could spread very fast.
“There is currently no evidence that the new strain causes a higher mortality rate or affects vaccines and treatment, although urgent work is underway to confirm this,” he said in a statement.
“In light of this recent development, it is now more important than ever for the public to continue to take action in their area to reduce the spread.”
It came as Wales’ first minister, Mark Drakeford, later said he would chair his cabinet meeting. He tweeted: “I’m invited four countries today to discuss serious concerns about the spread of a new Govt variant. I will be chairing a meeting of the Welsh Cabinet at 2 pm today.”
Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon has tweeted that he will hold similar talks with his cabinet following the four-nation talks and that “preventive action may be needed” to prevent the spread of the new strain.
There is concern that the announcement of effective vaccines in recent weeks may have had a negative impact on compliance with regulations, including self-isolation requirements.
Sir Jeremy Farrer, director of the Welcome Trust and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Emergencies, today warned that the new strain was “a real cause for concern” and “urgent action is paramount.”
The new strain of Covit-19 is a real cause for concern and additional warning. Research to understand more is ongoing, but it is important to act urgently now. No part of the UK and globally should worry. As in many countries, the situation is weak.
– Jeremy Farrer (JeremyFarrer) December 19, 2020
Amid the rise of new variation and epidemics, “the impact of increased interactions during the festive season is a major concern,” he said.
In the UK, Northern Ireland and Scotland can mix up to three houses from 23 to 27 December, but the limit is two houses in Wales.
Sir Jeremy said the pace of progress in vaccines, treatments and diagnoses was “unique” and should be celebrated, warning against “complacency”: “We must be realistic, this epidemic is not over. We have not changed the basics yet.”
He added: “We are entering an unpredictable phase.”
Labor has called on the prime minister to explain how he wants to prevent the spread of the corona virus, saying it was “out of control again in some parts of the country”.
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “This is an incredibly serious moment, and people are worried. The Prime Minister has refused to take action to control the virus that is spreading at Christmas.
The NHS in Kent announced yesterday that it was suspending emergency hospital procedures, treating more than twice the number of patients who had been at the peak of the waves since April.
The move comes as the latest official figures put the UK’s R-rating at an estimated 1.1 to 1.2 – which means the disease is on the rise again.
The country’s largest population – about 38 million people, 68% of the population in the UK – now lives under strict Tier 3 restrictions.