12 Oct What we know about the three-tier COVID-19 restrictions | UK News
The prime minister is to announce a three-tier system of measures in England intended to limit the spread of COVID-19.
What would the new system entail?
The country would be split into three tiers depending on the level of restrictions the government deems necessary – medium, high, very high.
When will they be announced?
The prime minister is expected to announce the measures in parliament after chairing a COBRA committee meeting on Monday.
Then there will be a news conference where he will be joined by Chancellor Rishi Sunak and England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty.
MPs will debate and vote on the measures next week.
What restrictions would each tier have?
Details have not been confirmed but it is thought residents under the tier three (the toughest) restrictions will have to avoid all non-essential travel and stay in their area.
It is not a full lockdown, as schools and places of worship are expected to remain open. But bars, clubs, cafes, gyms, beauty salons and hairdressers may be closed, along with shops and some services. There are conflicting reports as to whether restaurants would be forced to close.
Tier two restrictions are expected to prohibit households mixing indoors. They may be allowed to meet in a private garden but must follow the rule of six and social distancing.
Tier one restrictions are likely to be what is currently in place across England, including a 10pm curfew for bars and pubs and a ban on most gatherings of more than six people.
Which areas could be put under tier three?
Nottingham has England’s highest rate of coronavirus infections – 2,763 new cases recorded in the seven days to 8 October. This is 830.0 cases per 100,000 people, up from 314.5 per 100,000 in the previous seven days.
Knowsley’s rate is up from 485.9 to 669.5, with 1,010 new cases and Liverpool’s rate has increased from 504.4 to 598.5, with 2,981 new cases.
Other possibilities could include West Lancashire (up from 217.8 to 398.1, with 455 new cases); Exeter (up from 229.8 to 380.5, with 500 new cases); Blackburn with Darwen (up from 208.4 to 355.4, with 532 new cases); and Broxtowe (up from 115.8 to 265.7, with 303 new cases).
How long will restrictions last?
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen has been reported as saying the restrictions are expected to last for four weeks but this has not been confirmed by government.