UK orders shops to close, nixes holiday mixing in London

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LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Christmas gatherings can’t go ahead and non-essential shops must close in London and much of southern England as he imposed a new, higher level of coronavirus restrictions to curb rapidly spreading infections.

Johnson said Saturday that the capital and other areas in southern England currently under the highest level of coronavirus restrictions will move to an even stricter Tier 4 that 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 socialization restrictions that would allow up to three households to meet in “Christmas bubbles” will be canceled for Tier 4 areas.

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