UK records another 17,272 coronavirus cases with 231 deaths

LONDON, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Another 17,272 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 1,723,242, according to official figures released Sunday.

The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 231 to 61,245, the data showed.

Earlier Sunday, a Christmas market in the northern England city of Nottingham, which is placed in Tier 3 restrictions, has been closed due to large crowds and a lack of social distancing.

The Mellors Group, the organizer of the market, said in a statement: "In light of the unprecedented high footfall seen up and down the country for retail nationally, we have decided to temporarily close the Christmas market."

"The pent-up demand for a city centre offer was far higher than normal and we feel this is the most appropriate way forward," said the statement.

Meanwhile in London, four men were arrested for such offences as affray and breaking coronavirus regulations, as crowds gathered outside Harrods, a famed department store in central London.

"Police were called to reports of a large group of people attempting to enter a shop in Brompton Road," a Met Police spokesman said in statement.

"Four males were arrested in total -- two for affray, one for breach of COVID regulations, and another for a public order offence and breach of COVID regulations. The crowd have since dispersed," said the statement.

England is currently under a new three-tier system of coronavirus restrictions that replaced the month-long national lockdown in England which ended on Dec. 2. London is one of the Tier 2 areas.

Under the new system, shops are allowed to re-open across England, giving a Christmas bonanza to the struggling retail sector, but all bars and restaurants in the toughest Tier 3 areas remain closed. The system put about 98 percent of England into the highest Tier 2 and 3.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

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