LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday ordered a third national lockdown for England amid a surging coronavirus outbreak driven by a U.K. variant that appears to be more contagious and may have greater implications for children.

In a televised address to the nation Monday evening, Johnson said the new variant was 50 to 70 percent more transmissible, spreading at a rate he called “frustrating and alarming.”

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“With most of the country already under extreme measures, it’s clear that we need to do more together to bring this new variant under control while our vaccines are rolled out,” he said. “In England, we must, therefore, go into a national lockdown which is tough enough to contain this variant.”

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