New national lockdown in Britain not inevitable, says minister

FILE PHOTO: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in London

LONDON (Reuters) - A new national lockdown is not inevitable in Britain to stop the spread of a new variant of coronavirus, health minister Matt Hancock said on Sunday, adding that tighter restrictions in London and southeast England should help curb the disease.

Asked on the BBC's Andrew Marr show whether a national lockdown was inevitable, Hancock said: "Not necessarily, one of the reasons we brought in the strict travel movements in tier 4 ... is to try to stop this new variant from spreading."

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Hugh Lawson)