From midnight London and other parts of the south-east and east of England saw the harsh restrictions imposed. People living in Tier 4 are forbidden from leaving the city. However before the law was imposed across the capital, thousands of people flocked to train stations to get out of the city.
The new regulations came as Mr Johnson cancelled Christmas due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases and said people can now only spend the festive season for 24 hours on Christmas Day.
Prime Minister Johnson said: “We must, I’m afraid, look again at Christmas. As Prime Minister, it’s my duty to take difficult decisions and do what is right to protect the people of this country. Given the early evidence we have on this new variant of the virus, it is with a heavy heart that we cannot continue with Christmas as planned. In England, those living in Tier 4 areas, should not mix with anyone outside their household at Christmas.”
Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer said: “The reason for that is if you look at the South East if you look at the East of England and look at London, there has been a really dramatic increase in the proportion of the cases that we see when we do the screening tests, which are not absolutely exact but pretty accurate, which would imply that in the South East, 43 percent of the virus is now this new variant.”
However, Mr Whitty went on to say there is no evidence to suggest the new strain of the virus “causes a higher mortality rate.”
“Given this latest development, it is now more vital than ever that the public continue to take action in their area to reduce transmission,” Whitty added.
Anyone found to be breaking new regulations can now be fined by the police and even arrested if the police find it necessary.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I think the police have done an amazing job of enforcement light-touch enforcement they have handled out lots of fixed penalty notices for breaches of the rules. They have also helped people keep overwhelmingly in line with what they need to do I really thank the policemen and women up and down the country for what they are doing and they’ll continue to do it in the same way throughout this period.”
“Above all, I’m sure people will naturally want to do it themselves as they have done throughout this crisis.
Prime Minister Johnson added, “The bulk of the population take this incredibly seriously and get it right and they will continue to do so.”