Boris Johnson reveals tough new tier rules to last until spring after coronavirus lockdown ends next week
BORIS Johnson is revealing tough new tier rules to last months after the coronavirus lockdown ends next week.
The PM is addressing MPs in the House of Commons with his new Tiers system – which will be significantly tougher than before but won’t include a Tier 4.
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New beefed up coronavirus tiered lockdowns are being announced today[/caption]
Matt Hancock promised there would be no Tier 4 lockdown earlier[/caption]
The PM is revealing his Covid Winter Plan – which will be in place except for the Christmas period where there will be a temporary exception.
Boris will reveal those plans later this week.
Areas with the worst infection rates won’t be forced into a draconian Tier 4 – like in Scotland – which pushed areas into measures close to a full lockdown.
The PM will lay out which place will go into which tier on Thursday.
It comes as:
- It was confirmed that families in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be allowed to meet for Christmas
- The Oxford vaccine is ‘up to 90 per cent’ effective – and the UK has 100million doses ordered
- Even people grabbing a drink outdoors must order a “substantial meal” in Tier 2
- All shops will be allowed to open for a Christmas shopping bonanza
- Pfizer vaccine could be approved in as little as a week for use in the UK
Mr Hancock told the BBC this morning that the cases had begun to fall, which is why ministers feel they can take end the rules.
He said: “The number of cases is now starting to fall across the whole of England, so we do think we can replace the lockdown with a tiered system.
“But the tiered system, whilst lighter than lockdown, will have to be stronger than previous tiers that were in place.”
Crucially the highest level of lockdown – Tier 3 – will have to have even tougher rules in place to push case numbers down.
Mr Hancock stressed that the previous shutdowns, which put huge swathes of the North of England were in “very high” Covid alert level, were not enough to bring cases down.
He said: “We saw that the previous Tier 3 rules could essentially get cases flat not bring them down.”
But in a blow to hospitality businesses, pubs and restaurants have to remain shut in the top Tier – but click and collect and deliveries are expected to be allowed to continue.
LEVELLED UP TIERS
Most of the country is expected to return to the most stringent Tier 3 or high risk Tier 2.
Areas living under Tier 2 will have to follow rules that were previously in place in the highest Covid level – meaning pubs will only be able to serve booze alongside a “substantial meal”.
And punters will only be able to dine indoors with people they live with.
Mass testing will be rolled out in the top Covid alert levels in a bid to try and get the cases down again.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said it was “too early to say” which places will go into which tiers.
Ministers will decide that later this week.
He told LBC today: “Based on the numbers that I’ve seen, which is a slow down in the virus spreading, it’s coming down in parts of London in a couple of boroughs.
“If we continue to make this progress, if Londoners continue to do the right thing, then what I suspect may will happen, what I hope would happen is when the lockdown’s lifted on December 2nd, London would probably be in what is called tier two.”
Most areas of the country are expected to be in Tier 2 or Tier 3[/caption]
Mass testing will be rolled out in Tier 3 areas to push cases down[/caption]
Tier 3 rules will be even tougher than before[/caption]
The hated 10pm curfew will finally be ditched by ministers and replaced with demands to take last orders – and a final closing time of 11pm, giving Brits a chance to finish their drinks before being forced onto the street.
Mr Johnson summoned his Cabinet for a rare Sunday meeting last night to sign off new, toughened measures for England.
In a huge boost for retailers, all shops will be allowed to open in the crucial run-up to Christmas — regardless of their local lockdown measures.
The Sun has learnt that gyms will also be able to open across the country.
And beauty salons too will be able to throw open their doors as “personal care” will be allowed to return.
The tiers each area will be placed in will be announced on Thursday.
The tougher new tiers comes with a slice of good news for families, after the four nations signed off a plan to let people across the UK gather for Christmas.
It is understood up to three households will be able to come together for a turkey dinner indoors, subject to final agreement with the devolved nations.
There are also hopes that these “festive bubbles” will be able to go out for Christmas meals together — as long as they do not mingle with other households.
The ban on household mixing in Tiers 2 and 3 will likely be lifted for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day through to the delayed Boxing Day Bank Holiday on December 28.
And in Tier 1, the “Rule of Six” is set to be suspended to allow bigger groups to celebrate.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said today it was “likely” household bubbles would be able to join – but said bringing four households together was not discussed.
She said there is an “obvious desire” to reunite over Christmas but stressed it needed to be done “safely” to minimise risks.
TEST THEM ALL
Mr Johnson is due to tell MPs the increase in new Covid cases in England is “flattening off” after the nationwide lockdown measures.
But he will warn: “We are not out of the woods yet.”
Mr Hancock said this morning that Tier 3 combined with mass testing in Liverpool meant new coronavirus cases started to fall “quite remarkably”.
Results from the Oxford/ AstraZenaca vaccine show “up to 90%” effectiveness[/caption]
Brits’ lives could start to get back to normal around Easter with a jab[/caption]
Mr Hancock also talked up the possibility of Brits’ lives starting to get back to normal by Easter after the Oxford AstraZenaca vaccine announced it had “up to 90 per cent” effectiveness.
He said: “It is subject to that regulatory approval and I really stress that because the medicines regulator, it’s called the MHRA, is independent, they’re rigorous, they’re one of the best regulators in the world.
“They will be very, very careful to ensure that they look at all the data to make sure that this is safe.
“Subject to that approval, we hope to be able to start vaccinating next month.”
Most jabs will start being rolled out in January to March, he said.
“And we hope that sometime after Easter things will be able to start to get back to normal.”
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