The health secretary, Matt Hancock, has suggested parts of England could remain under tough restrictions for
months as the government admitted a new strain of coronavirus was now out of control. Hours after the prime minister cancelled Christmas plans for millions of people, the number of daily recorded infections in the UK reached
an all-time high of 35,928. As scientists warned the new variant could be 70 per cent more transmissible than the original virus, the UK faced a freight crisis after France locked down their borders in a bid to prevent the spread.