Britain’s capital will be placed under the highest level of coronavirus restrictions from Wednesday amid a “very sharp” spike in COVID-19 cases in London and its surrounding areas and a new variant of coronavirus being identified as responsible for the “faster spread”, the UK government announced in Parliament on Monday.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs in the House of Commons that “swift and decisive action” was needed as the doubling rate of the deadly virus has hit just seven days in many of these areas.

Tier-3 restrictions, the highest level in England’s three-tier system, mean a near-complete lockdown, with people allowed to meet those they do not live with only in outdoor settings and hospitality venues directed to shut except for takeaways and deliveries.

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