Coronavirus

New Tier system announced

The Government has announced a new Tier system for when England leaves lockdown on 2 December, with only areas in Tier 1 allowed to revert back to the ‘rule of six’. 

Making the announcement to the House of Commons, health secretary Matt Hancock revealed that the new Tier 3 restrictions will see no household mixing, while pubs and restaurants must remain closed unless for takeaway and delivery. Guidance against travelling in or out of these areas was also announced. 

Tier 2, unlike prior to lockdown, will also see no household mixing, and the rule of six will be applied outdoors. Pubs and bars will remain closed unless operating as restaurants, and hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals.

Tier 1 will see a return to the restriction during the summer, with pubs and restaurants only required to close at 11pm. 

More areas than before will be in the top two tiers, however Hancock confirmed that the measures will be reviewed every fortnight. 

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Those confirmed to go into Tier 3 so far include Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Newcastle and Kent among others. 

London and Liverpool, both previously placed into Tier 3 prior to the second lockdown have been placed in Tier 2. 

The only regions placed in Tier 1 are Cornwall, the Isle of White and the Isles of Scilly.

While cases were found to be down 19% this week (beginning 23 Nov), the health secretary noted that the nation “must remain vigilant”, adding that the country cannot “flick a switch” and return to normality.  

He added: “The tiers must be made tougher than before to protect the NHS, they are not easy, but are necessary.”

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