The United Kingdom is experiencing a considerable spike in Covid cases, including the recently detected new variant which experts believe is 70% more contagious. On Sunday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned there could be further restrictions implemented, including stay-at-home orders and closures of non-essential businesses.
In the past six days, the nation has seen an increase of more than 50,000 new cases per day, reaching close to 55,000 in a single day on Sunday which was slightly reduced from Saturday’s daily case record of nearly 58,000. John’s Hopkins University reported the UK is on a par with Italy as the hardest-hit European nation and has seen over 75,000 deaths since the onset of the pandemic.
Johnson said the government is considering further lockdowns which would include school closures and completely banning household mingling. London and southeast parts of the capital city are currently experiencing 1,000 cases per 100,000 residents and may be joining the rest of the country in a Tier 4 lockdown, the highest and most constraining level, which would close gyms and recreational facilities as well as mandate a stay-at-home order.
Vaccination rollouts are under way in Britain including the recently approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The country began vaccinating the elderly and health care workers on December 8 using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. With the approval of the easier to transport, store and administer Oxford-AstraZeneca shots, the projected goal is to inoculate 2 million people per week.
Ann Sullivan is a contributing staff writer covering national and world news topics. She brings dedicated experience having written international and domestic news, blogs, and web content for over 20 years. She’s also a published poet and graphic designer with degrees in Business and Graphic Communications and has been a music distributor, music industry sponsorship sales director and band manager.