When the science changes, the policy must also change. This variant strain of coronavirus, which appears to be widely prevalent here in London and the South East, is much more transmissible albeit no more deadly. As soon as this new mutation became known it was thoroughly investigated by our scientists. It is the increased rate that this variant transmits that is the key concern. It is the confirmed increased transmit-ability that has become such an issue in London. This has meant the Prime Minster has had to change his opinion and tighten restrictions.
As the Prime Minister has announced this evening, London has now been moved into the new Tier 4 - Stay at Home. This means that restrictions are similar to those of the national restrictions we saw in November. Non-essential shops will now be closed here in London, and there can be no household mixing.
Everyone in all tiers are asked to stay local, and those in Tier 4 areas will not be allowed to travel abroad. In this new Tier 4, plans for Christmas bubbles will no longer be possible. However, communal worship will still be allowed to take place.
I know this announcement will change festive plans for many of my constituents, however it is vitally important that we follow the rules to prevent the further spread of the disease.
Please see the graphic below for further details or the guidance which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home.