‘Further action’ may be needed to curb the spread of Covid-19 admits minister.

Later today the Cabinet’s Covid operations committee are set to decide whether to move more areas of England under Tier 4 to help stop the spread of the new variant of the virus.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick acknowledged “it may be necessary to take further action” to curb rising case numbers.

Reports suggested local leaders and health officials met on Tuesday night to discuss the possibility of Birmingham being moved into a Tier 4 lockdown, while areas in lower tiers could be moved up to Tier 3.

Genomic researchers have found that the new variant, which is said to be 70 per cent more infectious than previous strains, has already spread around the UK, with cases identified in Wales and Scotland.

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Oxfordshire is currently in Tier 2 and the current tier levels in England are due to be reviewed on December 30 but that could be accelerated.

Mr Jenrick told Sky News: “We don’t have a timetable for that. The Government’s Covid operations committee is meeting later today to review further evidence.

“We keep this under review, we are constantly hearing from our scientific advisers about what we should do.”

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