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Many stores will be closed and travel will be limited.

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the United Kingdom, especially in London. In order to mitigate the spread, the UK government is increasing London’s local lockdown level from Tier 2 to Tier 3 on Wednesday morning.

Under a Tier 3 lockdown, classified as “very high alert,” all hospitality-oriented storefronts, including but not limited to pubs, restaurants, and cafes, will be required to close their dining rooms. Only takeout and delivery options will be permitted. UK citizens are encouraged to travel as little as possible, moreso outside their own area. If travel is necessary, it is advised that citizens make as few stops as possible.

“Over the last three weeks we’ve seen very sharp exponential rises in the virus across London, Kent, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire,” said UK health secretary Matt Hancock.

“We do not know the extent to which this is because of the new variant, but no matter its cause, we have to take swift and decisive action, which unfortunately, is absolutely essential to control this deadly disease while the vaccines roll out,” Hancock said Monday.

“I know the steps are hard, but we must not waver as we enter the final stretch, so that when we look back on this time of crisis, we can all say that we played our part,” he added.

A large portion of England was already under a Tier 3 lockdown, all of which will remain as such for the foreseeable future. However, in a small concession for the holidays, citizens will be permitted to form a “Christmas Bubble” between December 23 and 27. Up to three households will be permitted to have their occupants meet in person, provided none of them have any physical contact with any other households or bubbles.