LONDON—The U.K. imposed a fresh lockdown across London and surrounding areas of England to combat a new strain of Covid-19 that appears to be significantly more contagious than earlier variants of the pathogen.
Scientists say the new variant might be as much as 70% more transmissible than more established strains, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at a news conference Saturday. Though it spreads more easily from person to person, there is no evidence it is any more deadly or resistant to vaccines, he said.
The new lockdown means many families won’t be allowed to gather for Christmas. Mr. Johnson, who only days ago noted it would be “inhuman” to put curbs on Christmas celebration, said: “It is with a very heavy heart that I must tell you we cannot continue with Christmas as planned.”
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