UK readies for major reopening but new variant sparks worry

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LONDON (AP) — Travelers in England are packing their bags, bartenders are polishing their glasses and theater performers are warming up as Britain prepared for a major step out of lockdown. But the excitement over Monday’s reopening of travel and hospitality vied with anxiety about a more contagious virus variant now spreading in the country. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the variant first identified in India is more transmissible than the U.K.’s main strain, and “it is likely it will become the dominant variant.” On Monday, people in England will be able to eat a restaurant meal indoors, go to a museum and visit one another’s homes. But the government is warning that the new variant could delay further reopening plans.

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