Boris Johnson calls crisis meeting over new Covid strain

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Boris Johnson summoned ministers for an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss how to tackle mounting concerns about the new strain of coronavirus identified in parts of south-east England.

The variant is thought to be more infectious and could trigger possible restrictions including curbs on travel between the south-east, including London, and the rest of the country, according to reports, but ministers insisted that no decisions have been made.

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, expressed concerns earlier this week about the new strain as he announced that a large swathe of the south-east would be placed under the toughest, tier 3 restrictions.

It is understood that government scientists have subsequently presented new evidence to ministers about the behaviour of this variant. A government official said: “There are concerns that it is more transmissible than the existing strain – and that sense is hardening.”

An announcement could be made as soon as Saturday about how ministers plan to try to contain the new threat, with concerns about the risks of cross-UK travel in the run-up to Christmas.

Read more via The Guardian

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