UK nixes Christmas gatherings, shuts London shops over virus

By SYLVIA HUI Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Millions of people in England have learned they must cancel their Christmas get-togethers and holiday shopping trips. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday that holiday gatherings can't go ahead and non-essential shops must close in London and much of southern England.

Johnson imposed a new, higher level of coronavirus restrictions to curb sharply spreading infections in the capital and other areas. The new Tier 4 alert category requires non-essential shops, hairdressers and indoor leisure venues to close after the end of business hours Saturday.

Johnson also said that a planned five-day easing of socializing rules that would allow up to three households to meet in "Christmas bubbles" will be canceled for Tier 4 areas.

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