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Millions of people have entered harsher coronavirus restrictions, as new tier changes come into force in England.

Around six million people in east and south-east England have gone into tier four, the highest Covid level – which includes a “stay at home” order.

New lockdowns also started in Scotland and Northern Ireland on Boxing Day, and measures have been re-imposed in Wales after being eased for Christmas.

It comes as official UK coronavirus deaths passed 70,000 on Christmas Day.

The toughest measures – which mean the closure of all non-essential shops, as well as hairdressers, swimming pools and gyms – now apply to around 24 million people in England, more than 40% of the population.

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