UK PM Johnson says plans for Christmas must change as COVID cases rise

·1-min read
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a news conference in London

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his government's plans to ease coronavirus restrictions over Christmas would have to be dropped because of a rise in cases fuelled by a new variant of COVID-19.

"Given the early evidence we have on this new variant of the virus, the potential risk it poses, it is with a very heavy heart I must tell you we cannot continue with Christmas as planned," Johnson told a news conference.

People in areas covered by a new top Tier 4 of coronavirus restrictions will no longer be able to mix with other households, and those in other areas will now only be able to meet on one day instead of five.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by William Schomberg)