"we need to go further" when it came to controlling the virus.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled a new ‘three-tier’ lockdown system that will be introduced in England in a bid to curb rising Covid-19 cases.
The PM confirmed the news on October 12, 2020, while speaking in the House of Commons.
Mr Johnson spoke about the “stark reality” of a second wave of Covid-19 infections had seen the number of cases quadruple in the last three weeks.
There are now more people in hospital with Covid-19 than when England went into lockdown on March 23, 2020.
However, Mr Johnson rejected the idea of a full national lockdown due to the impact of shutting schools and the harm to the economy.
He also dismissed suggestions that the public’s patience for restrictions had now been “exhausted” and the government should allow Covid-19 to “let rip” across the country and “let nature take her course”.
The PM said that “we need to go further” when it came to controlling the virus.
Areas of England will be ordered into ‘medium’, ‘high’ and ‘very high’ alert levels under the new three-tier system, depending on the infection rates.
What do the Tiers Mean?
- Tier 1 [medium] will cover most of England and will feature the current national rules. This includes the rule of six and the 10 pm curfew for hospitality businesses.
- Tier 2 [high] covers most areas under current restrictions. As well as the Tier 1 measures, different households and bubbles cannot meet indoors.
- Tier 3 [very high] means that household mixing will be banned indoors and in private gardens. It also means that pubs and bars which cannot operate as a restaurant will be closed. Alcohol can be served in pubs operating as restaurants, but only as part of a meal. People will be advised not to travel in and out of their area.
Places like Birmingham, Greater Manchester and Nottinghamshire have been placed in Tier 2.
The Liverpool city region has been placed into Tier 3 as a result of being one of the top three places for infection rates in England, at 598.5 per 100,000 people.
In addition to the Tier 3 baseline rules, gyms, leisure centres, betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos in Merseyside will also close.
For areas which move into Tier 3, it will be up to local politicians to decided whether shut leisure venues or not.
Non-essential shops, schools and universities will remain open.
Mr Johnson said:
“The weeks and months ahead will continue to be difficult and will test the metal of this country.
“But I have no doubt at all that together we will succeed.”
Nightingale hospitals across the North of England have been told to prepare to take patients.
Vulnerable citizens who were shielding during the first wave are to receive updated guidance on what the three-tier system means for them.
Mr Johnson said: “We are publishing updated guidance to explain what the Covid alert levels mean for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.”
Vulnerable people are not currently advised to shield in any local areas in England.
Mr Johnson will hold a news conference with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty on the evening of October 12.
MPs are expected to debate and vote on the new three-tier system on October 13 before the measures come into force the following day.
Mr Johnson concluded: “Regulations for all three Covid local alert levels are being laid today. They will be debated and voted on tomorrow, before coming into force on Wednesday.
“We will also keep these measures under constant review, including a four-week sunset clause for interventions in “very high” areas.”