TOP TRENDING

Boris Johnson asks the public to support new Covid lockdowns


How does the government decide which levels areas are divided into?

Boris Johnson promised to base animal allocation on "common sense" and the government's "winter plan" included a number of metrics that should be used. You are:

  • Case detection rates in all age groups;
  • Case detection rates in the over 60s;
  • The rate at which falls rise or fall;
  • Positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests performed); and
  • Pressures on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy.

However, there are no specific numerical trigger points, and the document added that there will "be some flexibility to trade these indicators against each other depending on the context".

"For example, the hospital capacity in a given area needs to be considered in the light of the capacity in neighboring areas and the feasibility of moving patients," the document says.

"The detection rates of cases need to be weighed as to whether the spread of the virus appears to be restricted to particular communities."

Boris Johnson asked people tonight to step on board with new tiers despite anger over the "vague and inconsistent" rules that have put 99 percent of England down the toughest curbs.

At a press conference on Downing Street, the prime minister insisted that the system was less "intrusive" than the blanket lockdown, which is due to be replaced from December 2nd.

And he emphasized that there is an escape route from the toughest levels for areas that manage to lower their infection rates. "Your stage is not your destiny, every area has ways to escape," said Mr Johnson.

However, Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty immediately took on a completely different tone, suggesting that there is little chance anyone will descend to Tier 1 as the restrictions are so lax that cases inevitably arise. He said it was only possible for places that currently have extremely low fall rates.

According to grants announced today, only 700,000 people – one percent of the population – are subject to the slightest restrictions. As of November 5, 29 million were in the lowest tier.

Meanwhile, around 55 million residents will find themselves on the toughest two levels after the blanket national lockdown ends on December 2nd.

It has sparked a huge backlash, with anger over the lack of set thresholds for entering and exiting Tiers and many local MPs in areas with low infection angry at being mixed up with nearby hotspots. The government has released a narrative explanation of why each area falls within each tier, but has rejected calls to use numeric trigger points.

A crowd of high-ranking Tories have threatened to rebel in a narrow vote on the plans next week.

Labor shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth called on the government to publish a "scorecard" showing exactly how each area was measured.

Carl Heneghan of Oxford University, professor of evidence-based medicine and epidemiologist, told MailOnline without "clear, objective criteria" that people would be confused and less likely to do what the government wants them to do.

Matt Hancock was quickly forced to make an admission that allocations would be revised weekly after December 16, rather than bi-weekly as expected. Meanwhile, Downing Street insisted that economic impact assessments be published before the Commons reached their judgment.

Although London and Liverpool were spared the toughest level 3, it is being used for much of the country, including most of the north, much of the Midlands, all of Kent and Bristol – and clubs are now bringing a wrecking ball through pubs, restaurants and restaurants forced to close except for take away.

Only Cornwall, Scilly and the Isle of Wight were included in the loosest Level 1, which allows socializing in houses and pubs subject to the rule of six.

As a result, most of England will be banned from mixing with other households indoors, except for five days over Christmas. Tier 2 pubs can only serve alcohol with "large" meals.

Labor is unlikely to oppose the measures, which means they will almost certainly be carried out – but a major mutiny would be another major blow to Mr Johnson's authority.

Boris Johnson (left) is out of self-isolation and was in the House of Commons today for Matt Hancock's (right) statement. The Prime Minister will hold a press conference tonight

Boris Johnson (left) is out of self-isolation and was in the House of Commons today for Matt Hancock's (right) statement. The Prime Minister will hold a press conference tonight

Government ridiculed for animal postcode checker farce after online tool crashes

This is the landing page when trying to check the Coronavirus level in your area of ​​England

This is the landing page when trying to check the Coronavirus level in your area of ​​England

The government was outright ridiculed for being forced to drop its rank Zip code verification tool that crashed just minutes after launch.

Those who entered their addresses on the website this morning were told, “Sorry, we are having technical difficulties. Please try again in a few moments. & # 39;

Others received a different message: “We are having technical difficulties. Please try again later. Coronavirus information can be found on Gov.UK. & # 39;

The checker hit the website just after 11 a.m., about half an hour before Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed the details at the House of Commons.

It has now been replaced with a neat list of every region in England and what alert level it will be placed on when the national lockdown ends on December 2nd.

Alistair Carmichael, MP for Lib Dem, told MailOnline, "You may now have to wait for Jacob Rees Mogg and his quill to write a bulletin with copper plates to be posted on the gates of Downing Street."

Jake Madders, director of Hyve Managed Hosting, which specializes in hosting websites, added, “It seems to me that they didn't load it and they just caught it live. You need to test something like this and simulate the traffic in advance. & # 39;

He added, 'It's insane. Who are your suppliers? We could do it for you if you wanted to. & # 39;

Speaking at the # 10 press conference tonight, Mr Johnson, who had emerged from self-isolation earlier today, said he was "sorry" about the effects of the measures.

But he said, "If we let up now, we risk losing control of this virus again, tossing aside our hard-won gains and sliding ourselves back into a national New Year's lockdown with all the damage that would mean" he said.

“I know this is going to bring a lot of heartache and frustration, especially for our vital hospitality industry.

“I really wish it were different, but if we are to keep schools open as we have to, then our ability to fight the disease is necessarily limited.

"There is no doubt that the restrictions are strict at all levels and I am sorry."

Mr Johnson said, “While the previous stages slowed the spread of the virus, they were never enough to keep the disease reproductive rate, the R-rate, below 1 and kept there. So the areas did not escape the level they were in.

& # 39; Our new approach aims to reduce R below 1 and open up a path to areas to move the scale down once the situation improves.

And crucially, we now have the means to expedite this moment of escape by having quick community testing allowing anyone carrying the disease, including those without symptoms, to isolate and thereby reduce the R. & # 39;

A Northeast MP told MailOnline that Health Secretary Helen Whately was "monstrous" on a conference call with politicians from the region this afternoon.

She apparently made an instant mistake by misclassifying the current rating.

"She's been having a tough ride," said the Labor MP. She started by saying, "You are now in Tier 3." Everyone said, "No, we are not".

Ms. Whately reportedly advised the bipartisan group that they would "likely" be in Tier 3 by January, despite the prospect of three roster reviews by then.

"The Tories weren't happy at all," said the MP. "One said to her" "How do we get out of there then?" "She was a monster."

The chairman of the influential Tory Committee of 1922, Sir Graham Brady, said he would vote against the lockdown system next week.

Altrincham and Sale MPs accused the government of being "unreasonable" and of failing to assess the situation in certain areas.

He said decisions would be made "on a nationwide basis where it is not warranted" rather than "looking at actual local data and facts".

Sir Graham told BBC Radio 4's World at One, "I think when we look at the experiences of places like Greater Manchester in particular … I think there is a limit to what can reasonably be expected for communities to absorb . "

He added: “I will vote against.

“I have serious reservations on so many different levels.

“I think politics was way too authoritarian.

"I think they interfered in people's private and private lives in an unacceptable way."

Another Kent MP, Sir Roger Gale, warned people that they would only cross the border to go to a pub in neighboring Tier 2 areas.

He told Sky News: & # 39; The aim of the exercise was to put in place a system that the public will accept.

“We know it's high in Thanet, it's not that high in Ashford (in terms of infection rates).

“Will you be happy with that? No, they aren't and what will of course happen is people are jumping the line or trying to jump the line to go to a pub or restaurant that may be open if it's one in tier 2 or in is tier 1 pretty close.

"That's the last thing we want."

Steve Baker, the leader of the Tory rebels, warned that the government must explain how to balance economic damage with public health.

“The authoritarianism at work today is really appalling. But is it necessary and proportionate to the threat posed by this disease? & # 39; he tweeted.

"In terms of the economy and the coronavirus, my fear is that we are so far down the rabbit hole now that we have forgotten we even stepped into it."

Former Minister Sir Robert Syms said: “I told the Minister of Health that both urban and rural Dorset are bitterly disappointed to be in Tier 2.

"I'm not happy this could last until next April, so I'll probably vote against next Tuesday."

Conservative MP for Bournemouth East Tobias Ellwood said he was unhappy with the city's Tier 2 rating, adding that he would vote against the government because of the restrictions.

He tweeted, “With only 160 cases per 100,000, I'm confused that we're placed in this category, which will create more trouble for our hospitality industry. I will NOT support the government's motion to introduce it next week. & # 39;

Bournemouth MP Conor Burns also questioned the basis for the decision: “I am very disappointed that Bournemouth has been rated Tier 2 and I don't see how this is justified by any robust evidence or model …

"To maintain public trust, the basis of the modeling on which decisions are made must be made public."

Damian Green, Ashford Conservative MP and former Cabinet Secretary, tweeted: “I am very disappointed that all of Kent has been rated Tier 3. Before lockdown we were in tier 1. What did lockdown achieve? We need to publish the full analysis. & # 39;

WHAT IS THE JOINT BIOSECURITY CENTER?

The Joint Biosecurity Center, which was set up in May for £ 9 billion, was rated as "far too opaque".

Little is known about the secret agency being released from the cabinet office where Dominic Cummings' ally and former chief Michael Gove is the minister in charge.

The staff consists of senior chiefs from the Department of Health, epidemiologists and data analysts. However, the structure and details of whether experts are paid by the government were not disclosed.

WHAT DOES IT DO?

The JBC was originally tasked with monitoring Covid-19 and helping the country's chief medical officers determine the threat level.

However, in July, Matt Hancock was given more responsibility when he downgraded the SAGE scientific advisory board from number 10 after criticizing his response to the first wave.

However, data from all government health and science agencies are to be fed into the JBC, which will then recommend number 10 action.

However, in order to be implemented, the measures must be signed by the Prime Minister. This includes lockdown restrictions and the new revised tiered system.

Every two weeks the JBC will evaluate the situation in Covid across England and decide whether places need to be updated or downgraded.

However, there are no specific trigger thresholds for entering or exiting levels. And there will be "flexibility to weigh these indicators against each other depending on the context".

WHO IS RUNNING THE JBC?

The JBC is headed by Dr. Clare Gardiner, a qualified epidemiologist, medical researcher and director of cybersecurity at GCHQ.

She reports to Baroness Dido Harding, head of NHS Test and Trace, and the entire JBC organization is under the control of the Department of Health, which replies to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock officially revealed the division of land in the Commons after days of the dispute, saying the country must remain "vigilant".

How many people are in each level?

Tier 1: 713,573 (1.27% of population)

Tier 2: 32,226,170 (57.25% of the population)

Tier 3: 23,347,218 (41.48% of the population)

He also defended the criteria used for complaints that they were too vague and "fingers in the air".

And he immediately signaled a withdrawal on the fortnightly reviews, suggesting that the levels could indeed be reconsidered weekly.

In the midst of shambolic scenes, the government had set an online postcode checker live before the declaration.

While local residents, journalists and MPs struggled to collect the news about the decisions made, the site immediately crashed under the weight of the traffic.

Tier 3 means that millions of people are banned from mixing indoor and outdoor households, and pubs can only offer take-away service or have to close entirely.

The revised Tier 2 restrictions close pubs unless they serve meals and order people not to meet other households indoors.

About 23 million people will be in this category as of next Wednesday, and 32 million are in Tier 2.

London was spared after data showed the coronavirus was rapidly falling off in more than two-thirds of the boroughs – and seemingly stalling in the rest.

Liverpool have also run a successful campaign to control their outbreak after mass testing in the city.

Mr Hancock noted that despite having some of the lowest infection rates, his own Suffolk constituency is ranked Tier 2.

In a nod to Anger on the Tory Benches, he said he knew that many other places would prefer to be in the bottom bracket.

And he rejected the criticism that there are no specific thresholds for dividing areas into levels.

Mr Hancock told MPs, “The indicators are designed to give the government a picture of what is happening to the virus in each area so that appropriate action can be taken.

“These key indicators need to be looked at in the context of how they interact with each other and in the wider context, but they provide an important framework for decision-making – assessing the underlying prevalence as well as changing the spread of the disease in specific areas.

"Given these sensitivities, it is not possible to set rigid thresholds for these indicators."

Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth called on the government to publish a "scorecard" showing exactly how each area was measured against its criteria for deciding on levels.

In the House of Commons, Conservative MP Greg Smith said he was "incredibly disappointed" that his Buckingham constituency was rated Tier 2.

He said it was a decision that will be difficult to understand in the rural communities of north Buckinghamshire with relatively low infection rates, and a decision that will be difficult to understand as there has been no consultation between the central government and Buckinghamshire Council our local NHS. & # 39;

Tory MP for York Outer Julian Sturdy urged the government to review the situation every week rather than every two weeks.

Mr. Hancock seemed to admit that this should be done.

"We'll be checking these in a fortnight and then regularly, which will allow him to reasonably take it weekly," he said.

"And we're going to have a weekly cycle of meetings with the GMO, who usually chair a meeting on a Tuesday. I then chair the meeting on a Wednesday to get an announcement on Thursday of a change in levels."

Mr Hancock also admitted that tiers might be more local in the future – like this time in Slough.

& # 39; We are ready to make these decisions at the sub-government level. It's the exception rather than the norm, but we'll check it out every week, ”he said.

Downing Street denied that economic factors had played a role in the decision-making and insisted that London should not be given a particular exception to the strictest restrictions.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said in a Westminster briefing: “We have set the levels based on the criteria we have established.

New Coronavirus Levels: Which One Is Your Home In?

ANIMAL THREE: VERY HIGH

Northeast

Tees Valley Combined Authority:

Hartlepool

Middlesbrough

Stockton-on-Teas

Redcar and Cleveland

Darlington

Northeast Combined Authority:

Sunderland

South Tyneside

Gateshead

Newcastle upon Tyne

North Tyneside

County Durham

Northumberland

northwest

Greater Manchester

Lancashire

Blackpool

Blackburn with Darwen

Yorkshire and The Humber

The Humber

West Yorkshire

South Yorkshire

West Midlands

Birmingham and Black Land

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull

East Midlands

Derby and Derbyshire

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

Leicester and Leicestershire

Lincolnshire

South east

Slough (Rest of Berkshire is Tier 2: High Alert)

Kent and Medway

southwest

Bristol

South Gloucestershire

North Somerset

TIER 2: HIGH

northwest

Cumbria

Liverpool City Region

Warrington and Cheshire

Yorkshire

York

North Yorkshire

West Midlands

Worcestershire

Herefordshire

Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin

East Midlands

Rutland

Northamptonshire

East of England

Suffolk

Hertfordshire

Cambridgeshire, including Peterborough

Norfolk

Essex, Thurrock and Southend on Sea

Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes

London

All 32 boroughs plus the City of London

South east

East Sussex

West Sussex

Brighton and Hove

Surrey

read

Wokingham

Bracknell Forest

Windsor and Maidenhead

West Berkshire

Hampshire (excluding the Isle of Wight), Portsmouth and Southampton

Buckinghamshire

Oxfordshire

southwest

South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip and Sedgemoor

Bath and North East Somerset

Dorset

Bournemouth

Christchurch

Poole

Gloucestershire

Wiltshire and Swindon

Devon

TIER 1: MEDIUM

South east

Isle of Wight

southwest

Cornwall

Isles of Scilly

"We have been clear about the criteria on which the tiering system is based and you have the WMS (Ministerial Written Declaration) which explains the rationale for each area."

The narrator was also asked why some areas that were previously in Tier 1 are now in Tier 3.

He said, “We have seen transmission rates rise and fall at different times in different areas throughout the pandemic.

& # 39; Obviously, we put in place the pre-national lockdown levels, which has played a role in containing the transmission rates and R-rate of the virus.

“And then recently we saw data reflecting the effects of the national lockdown. As always, we will continue to review all data. & # 39;

North of Tyne, Mayor-elect Jamie Driscoll voted that businesses need more information to help them plan.

"To survive for companies through January and February means acting before Christmas," he said.

“I have asked the government to provide clear criteria on how we can exit a step into a lower level of restrictions.

& # 39; How many cases, which R number, how much capacity do we need in our NHS to be able to reopen the hospitality industry?

& # 39; Vague criteria are not enough to help companies plan.

"You need to know now."

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham criticized the lack of business support for Tier 3 areas and said he wanted the region to move down before Christmas if it made further progress.

He said: “The infection rate in Greater Manchester is falling faster than any other part of the country, but we have to accept that it is still well above the UK average.

"If the current rate of improvement continues, we will urge the government to move our urban area to Tier 2 in two weeks."

“What we think is totally wrong is the government's decision not to provide additional business support to Tier 3 areas than Tier 1 and 2 areas.

& # 39; The new Tier 3 will hit the hospitality sector extremely hard. While there are grants for businesses that are forced to close, there is no additional support for businesses that provide them such as security, catering, and cleaning.

"This will create real trouble for people whose jobs will be affected and risk the loss of many businesses."

West Midlands Conservative Mayor Andy Street tweeted: “Tier 3 for the World Cup is very disappointing, but we need to focus now on getting out as soon as possible.

“The trajectory is good and our stay should be short-lived if people stick to the rules.

"However, more support is needed in T3, particularly in the hospitality industry and live events."

Sheffield Mayor Dan Jarvis warned that "lockdown must not be suspended".

Mr Jarvis, who is also a Labor MP for Barnsley Central, said: “I applaud the government's plans to revise our tiered arrangements every two weeks, as every additional day we are restricted will make the difference between a company doing the A pandemic survives or goes under.

"Now it's important that we get a roadmap to get out of Tier 3 urgently."

He said: “We need absolute clarity and coherence from the government regarding the criteria for areas that move between levels. We need an appropriate test and trace system and clear communication

At the end of the tunnel there is light. In South Yorkshire, the rate of new infections and especially the number of elderly people hospitalized with the virus is moving in the right direction.

& # 39; As of October 24th, we've had tighter restrictions in South Yorkshire and they're slowly suffocating businesses, especially in the hospitality and events sectors. They are being met again now, just as they begin their busiest time of year. & # 39;

Mr Jarvis added, "It is deeply worrying that the government has again excluded mayors and local leaders from the decision-making process related to the new tiering regime."

The decision to save London from Tier 3 will be a relief for many in the hospitality industry who can reopen with restrictions when the current national lockdown ends on December 2nd.

But Matt Hancock told the Commons this afternoon that the capital was more likely to head the other way, saying, "There is a lot to be done in London to keep it at Tier 2." Mr. Hancock has given all of neighboring Kent a Tier 3 rating.

The capital's top restaurateurs and hoteliers had warned that ranking the capital in Tier 3 would wipe out half of the city's hospitality industry and set off a “nuclear bomb” of job losses after Christmas.

Lead restaurateur Richard Caring, who owns chains like The Ivy and Bill & # 39; s, said he was "very glad" that London was in Tier 2, but if it had been in Tier 3 we "might as well have that Being able to turn off the light ". He told MailOnline: & # 39; These so-called politicians are only advised by scientists and not by commercial reality. They destroy people faster than this virus. & # 39;

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said it was the "right decision" because "Londoners have done exactly what has been asked of them since this pandemic began" – but condemned the government for continuing a curfew on Pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants.

But he added, “I am extremely disappointed that the government is sticking to specific measures that appear to be doing more harm than good.

“I'm glad we persuaded the government to end the 10pm curfew, but it is a mistake to extend it to 11pm when it is about to be lifted completely.

"It's a big blow to pubs, bars and restaurants that have had such a difficult year and deserve better."

David Mellen, chairman of Nottingham City Council, said the Tier 3 restrictions in the city were a "bitter blow".

He said: "It is a bitter blow to the people of Nottingham who have done the right thing, followed the rules and brought the rate of Covid infections from the highest in the country to below the national average."

“We were hoping that would have meant we wouldn't get into Tier 3 and the extra restrictions that come with that would have been placed on locals and struggling local businesses.

"We will need the government to continue to support companies – especially the hospitality industry, where they are particularly badly affected – so that they can get through this, as the amounts offered so far are insufficient."

“However, we must of course accept that these are the new rules we must adhere to, and given the valiant efforts on the ground over the past few weeks, I have no doubt that we can continue to lower infection rates and leave Tier 3 and enter tier 2 very soon.

"The tiers are checked every 14 days, so there must be hope that we can get into tier 2 before Christmas."

Mr Johnson looked happy to be out of self-isolation when he waved to the photographer on Downing Street today

Mr Johnson looked happy to be out of self-isolation when he waved to the photographer on Downing Street today

The government's narrative explanations for animal assignments

Critics say there should be certain numerical thresholds for people to have clarity

The announcement on Tiers was accompanied by narrative explanations of why each area was classified – but critics say there should be certain numerical thresholds for people to have clarity

Coronavirus cases have declined in two-thirds of all London boroughs, and the city will enter Tier 2 from December 2nd

Steve Baker tweeted today

Sir Robert Syms expressed anger

Steve Baker and Sir Robert Syms were among the Tory MPs who resented the draconian restrictions

The Prime Minister wrestled with his mask as he got off his official car as he returned to No10 from the Commons today

The Prime Minister wrestled with his mask as he got off his official car as he returned to No10 from the Commons today

The ONS today created its most recent infection survey, which found the north has some of the highest positive test rates

The ONS today created its most recent infection survey, which found the north has some of the highest positive test rates

Sturgeon ended the United Front by saying that Christmas bubbles should not contain more than eight people

Nicola Sturgeon reached out to Ebeneezer Scrooge today when she told Scots to have & # 39; Christmas Bubbles & # 39; to only eight people – and warned against hugs for grandma.

The Scottish Government released its festive season guidelines today, days after a four-nation approach to Britain was introduced.

It was expected that people in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could follow the same rules and cross borders to be with loved ones.

But the Scots said today they would only "recommend" eight adults and teenagers in a three-household bubble – though there is no limit on children under the age of 12.

And it has also been suggested to keep the two-meter rule of social distancing as much as possible, urging the Scots not to hug their loved ones who they may not have seen in weeks and months.

The rules are in contrast to those in England, where the three-household plan has no limits on numbers.

The Lincolnshire County Council chairman has called the county's Tier 3 restrictions "disappointing" and said "it doesn't make sense".

Cllr Martin Hill said: “It is very disappointing that all of Lincolnshire has moved into Tier 3 as infection rates are falling, especially in the few districts that were previously of concern – and this could be crippling for our hospitality industry.

“While our numbers have been high in some districts and lower in others, there is a marked flattening and declining in numbers as lockdown restrictions and the significant efforts of our residents come into effect.

"While some of our districts have infection rates well below the UK average, why should all of Lincolnshire be ranked Tier 3 because of higher rates in some districts – that doesn't make sense?

Previously, Chancellor Rishi Sunak had insisted that people "will see a difference" when England's national lockdown ends next week. He told Sky News today, “No matter what level you are at, I think people will see a noticeable change.

"That said, things are obviously not normal and I can't pretend next week things will feel like they are before spring."

The Prime Minister, who will hold a press conference tonight, told Conservative MPs last night that the new measures would be "very tough".

But he is ready for massive backlash from his own banks amid the anger that the measures are destroying thousands of companies, restricting themselves to another name, and finger-in-the-air criteria for making decisions.

Ministers have tried to ease tension by emphasizing that the levels will be revised every two weeks, with the first due on December 16.

This suggests that restrictions could be eased before the Christmas bubble eases on December 23rd.

A study published yesterday found that the previous Tier One was "clearly inadequate" the last time – only one of the 169 areas previously under these rules saw a decrease in cases.

The tiered system will come into effect at the end of the national lockdown on December 2nd – but the measures go further than the previous regime, meaning that the third tier is effectively a transition to full lockdown.

However, areas where progress is being made in slowing the spread of the virus could be moved down a notch before Christmas. The first review of the allocations should take place by December 16.

The most important decisions on the lockdown levels were made last night at a meeting of the Covid O committee chaired by Mr Johnson and Mr Hancock. They were stamped by the Cabinet before Mr Hancock made a statement to the Commons.

Relief as London moves into Tier 2 – but Hancock warns it is still in danger

London was placed in Tier 2 of Boris Johnson's controversial Covid-19 restrictions today – but Matt Hancock has already warned its 8.9 million residents that he believes the city is dangerously close to moving up to Tier 3.

The decision to bail out Tier 3 capital will be a relief for many in the hospitality industry who can reopen with restrictions when the current national lockdown ends on December 2nd.

Coronavirus cases are rapidly declining in more than two-thirds of London's boroughs – and appear to be stalling in the rest – and critics have called for the Prime Minister to now be transparent about how capital can get into Tier 1 as quickly as possible.

But Matt Hancock told the Commons this afternoon that the capital was more likely to head the other way, saying, "There is a lot to be done in London to keep it at Tier 2." Mr. Hancock has given all of neighboring Kent a Tier 3 rating.

The capital's top restaurateurs and hoteliers had warned that ranking the capital in Tier 3 would wipe out half of the city's hospitality industry and set off a “nuclear bomb” of job losses after Christmas.

Lead restaurateur Richard Caring, who owns chains like The Ivy and Bill & # 39; s, said he was "very glad" that London was in Tier 2, but if it had been in Tier 3 we "might as well have that Being able to turn off the light ". He told MailOnline: & # 39; These so-called politicians are only advised by scientists and not by commercial reality. They destroy people faster than this virus. & # 39;

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said it was the "right decision" because "Londoners have done exactly what has been asked of them since this pandemic began" – but condemned the government for continuing a curfew on Pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants.

It comes after Oxford University's foremost academic Carl Heneghan said areas that fall within the strictest Levels 2 and 3 could be in an "entirely different position" next week.

Professor Heneghan, an epidemiologist, said if rates continue to fall, "it will be difficult to justify tighter tiered restrictions".

Instead, there should be clear criteria that determine whether the strictest measures are taken in the areas.

He insisted: "By December 2nd we will be in a completely different position than we are now. Therefore we have to be much more flexible and reactive and set clear criteria."

He told MailOnline, "There's no point telling people," Here you are now (in terms of Covid) and you will be in that category next week. "

“We should explain to people the two important criteria that should decide which areas fall into which levels – symptomatic cases and hospital rates.

“For example, if Kent is announced to be in Tier 3 and 50 percent of Covid patient hospital beds are occupied, people could be told to adjust that to 30 percent to get out of Tier 3. These are objective criteria. & # 39;

His warning came when the UK recorded its highest daily virus death toll since early May.

Official data showed that 696 deaths were confirmed yesterday. This is the highest since 726 deaths on May 5th.

Speaking to a troubled committee of its MPs last night in 1922, the Prime Minister said, “I see we are making steady progress over the next four months. They will really undermine the virus' ability to harm our populations. & # 39;

The economic forecasts submitted by the Treasury Watchdog, the Office for Budgetary Responsibility, assume that the measures “high to medium” – levels 2 and 3 – will be in force by the middle of next year.

But the Prime Minister apparently told his MPs that he disagreed with their "dire prediction" and believed that vaccines would get Britain out of the swamp beforehand.

Mr. Johnson compared the mass test and vaccination programs to the "steady insertion of graphite rods into a nuclear reactor."

Even so, the Tory backbenches remain seriously annoyed with the tier system.

Jake Berry, of the Tory MPs Northern Research Group, said, “We reiterate our call for a clear path out of the tiering system and to make sure the North doesn't get stuck in a lockdown on Hotel California, where we enter Tier Three but can never go. & # 39;

The UK infection profile in mid-September

The UK infection profile in mid-November

These graphs show how the infection profile in the UK changed between mid-September (left) and mid-November

Covid-19 cases have fallen in most of the north of England since the lockdown was imposed, but they are increasing in one corner of the southeast. The percentage change is based on comparing the data for the week ended November 15 with the week ended November 8. The government is preparing to reveal its tiered system

Covid-19 cases have fallen in most of the north of England since the lockdown was imposed, but they are increasing in one corner of the southeast. The percentage change is based on comparing the data for the week ended November 15 with the week ended November 8. The government is preparing to reveal its tiered system

Official data showed that 696 deaths were confirmed yesterday. This is the highest since 726 deaths on May 5th

Official data showed that 696 deaths were confirmed yesterday. This is the highest since 726 deaths on May 5th

What level are YOU in and why? Geheimhaltungsstreit als Gesundheitsministerium weigert sich, die Zahlen hinter den Entscheidungen zu veröffentlichen, alle bis auf DREI Regionen Englands in die härtesten zwei Klammern zu setzen

Nummer 10 veröffentlichte heute eine Aufschlüsselung der Sperrstufen Englands in einem verzweifelten Versuch, die brutalen Bordsteine ​​gegenüber der Öffentlichkeit zu rechtfertigen, als Boris Johnson ankündigte, dass alle bis auf drei Orte des Landes in die härtesten Klammern geraten werden.

Das Dokument, das veröffentlicht wurde, als es herauskam, dass fast 99 Prozent der Bevölkerung in irgendeiner Form gesperrt sein werden, wenn die nationale Intervention am 2. Dezember endet, enthält vage Einzelheiten darüber, warum jedem Gebiet unterschiedliche Beschränkungen zugewiesen wurden, ohne jedoch die genauen Schwellenwerte anzugeben hinter den Entscheidungen zu treffen.

Es scheint eine direkte Reaktion auf heftige Kritik an der Regierung an der Transparenz durch Wissenschaftler und ihre eigenen Abgeordneten zu sein, die den Ministern vorwarfen, die entscheidenden Entscheidungen zu treffen, die eine Abrissbirne durch bereits verkrüppelte Personen führen Pubs, Restaurants und Clubs in weiten Teilen der Nation.

In Tier 3 Manchester beispielsweise hieß es in der Aufschlüsselung des Gesundheitsministeriums: "Während sich die Situation kontinuierlich verbessert hat", bleiben die Infektionen zu hoch, "insbesondere in den über 60-Jährigen". Am Ende der Erklärung ist eine vage Nachricht über den Druck auf das örtliche NHS angebracht, der "weiterhin ein Problem darstellt", insbesondere im "Manchester University Hospital and Pennine Acute Trust".

Die Beamten bestanden jedoch darauf, dass es „nicht möglich sei, starre Schwellenwerte festzulegen“ für die fünf Indikatoren, anhand derer beurteilt wird, in welchen Bereichen strengere Maßnahmen erforderlich sind. Dies bedeutet, dass die örtlichen Beamten im Dunkeln darüber gelassen werden, wie sie den Bordsteinen entkommen können, wenn ihnen nicht genau gesagt wird, was erforderlich ist Treffen hinter verschlossenen Türen.

Carl Heneghan von der Universität Oxford, Professor für evidenzbasierte Medizin und Epidemiologe, sagte gegenüber MailOnline ohne „klare, objektive Kriterien“. Die Menschen sind oft verwirrt darüber, warum sie bestraft werden und welches Verhalten sie anpassen müssen, um aus der härteren Sperre herauszukommen Klammern.

Inmitten shambolischer Szenen, die heute Morgen die mit Spannung erwartete Rangliste enthüllten, stürzte der Online-Postleitzahlenprüfer der Regierung, der vor der offiziellen Erklärung veröffentlicht wurde, ab, nachdem Anwohner, Journalisten und Abgeordnete sich bemüht hatten, die Nachrichten über die getroffenen Entscheidungen zu sammeln. Es wurden auch Fragen gestellt, warum das auf der Website der Regierung veröffentlichte Originaldokument eine Reihe von Fragezeichen für einige der aufgeführten Bereiche enthielt.

Es ergänzt einen Katalog von Fehlern britischer Gesundheitsbehörden, die im September aufgrund eines Excel-Fehlers von Microsoft fast 16.000 Covid-Testergebnisse verloren haben und vier Monate zu spät mit der Einführung ihrer Test and Trace-App „Weltschlag“ waren.

Das Joint Biosecurity Center wird alle zwei Wochen die Covid-Situation in Gebieten überprüfen und Vorschläge zur Auf- oder Herabstufung von Orten unterzeichnen, wobei die endgültige Entscheidung beim Premierminister verbleibt. However, there are no specific trigger thresholds for entering or exiting levels.

In Tier Drei Leicester wurden laut Aufschlüsselung Verbesserungen festgestellt, aber die Covid-19-Infektionsraten bleiben mit 355 pro 100.000 "sehr hoch", einschließlich in über 60 Jahren mit 250. Das DoH-Dokument fügt hinzu: "Der Druck auf das lokale NHS bleibt bestehen sehr hoch.'

Nur Cornwall, Scilly und die Isle of Wight wurden in die lockerste Stufe 1 aufgenommen, die es ermöglicht, in Häusern und Pubs, die der Sechser-Regel unterliegen, Kontakte zu knüpfen.

Infolgedessen wird es dem größten Teil Englands – rund 55 Millionen Einwohner – verboten sein, sich in Innenräumen mit anderen Haushalten zu vermischen, abgesehen von fünf Tagen über Weihnachten. Pubs in Tier 2 können Alkohol nur zu „umfangreichen“ Mahlzeiten servieren

Professor Heneghan, der MailOnline gestern mitteilte, dass die Beschränkungen zum Zeitpunkt ihres Inkrafttretens in der nächsten Woche veraltet sein würden, sagte, dass die Beamten "viel flexibler und reaktiver sein müssen", damit die Regionen im Handumdrehen von den wirtschaftlich schädlichen Bordsteinen befreit werden können Hut, wenn der Ausbruch beginnt, in die richtige Richtung zu tendieren.

LONDON

London wurde heute in Tier 2 der umstrittenen Covid-19-Beschränkungen von Boris Johnson eingestuft – aber Matt Hancock hat bereits gewarnt, dass die Stadt vor Weihnachten gefährlich nahe daran ist, in Tier 3 aufzusteigen.

The decision to bail out Tier 3 capital will be a relief for many in the hospitality industry who can reopen with restrictions when the current national lockdown ends on December 2nd.

Coronavirus cases are rapidly declining in more than two-thirds of London's boroughs – and appear to be stalling in the rest – and critics have called for the Prime Minister to now be transparent about how capital can get into Tier 1 as quickly as possible.

But Mr Hancock told the Commons this afternoon that it is more likely to move in the other direction and said: 'There is a lot of work to do in London to keep it in Tier 2'.

The capital's top restaurateurs and hoteliers had warned that placing the capital in Tier 3 would wipe out half the hospitality industry in the city and trigger an 'atomic bomb' of job losses after the New Year.

Leading restaurateur Richard Caring, who owns chains including The Ivy and Bill's, said he was 'very glad' that London was in Tier 2, but if it had gone into Tier 3 then 'we might as well have turned out the lights'. He told MailOnline: 'These so-called politicians are advised purely by scientists and not commercial reality. They are destroying people faster than this virus.'

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said it was the "right decision" because "Londoners have done exactly what has been asked of them since this pandemic began" – but condemned the government for continuing a curfew on Pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants.

But he added, “I am extremely disappointed that the government is sticking to specific measures that appear to be doing more harm than good. I'm glad we persuaded the government to end the 10pm curfew, but it is a mistake to extend it to 11pm when it is about to be lifted completely. It's a big blow to pubs, bars and restaurants that have had such a difficult year and deserve better. "

LIVERPOOL

For Liverpool – formerly the country's Covid hotspot –  'cases have fallen by 69 per cent over six weeks'.

But the region was placed in Tier Two because 'case rates in over 60s are very high (over 200 per 100,000) in six lower tier local authorities', according to the document.

Liverpool has run a successful campaign to control its outbreak after mass testing in the city.

CORNWALL, ISLES OF SCILLY AND THE ISLE OF WIGHT

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, two of three places to be put in Tier One, there are low case rates and test positivity and the infections in all ages are stable or declining, officials said.

'There have been no cases in the Isles of Scilly in the last seven days meaning there is strong evidence to make an allocation to Tier One,' it added.

In Tier One Isle of Wight, the DoH claimed: 'The case rate is low and decreasing at 71 per 100,000 and lower in over 60s at 44 per 100,000. COVID-19 pressure on the NHS is low.'

Experts have said the Government should be prepared to start moving places up and down tiers next week when the lockdown ends because the country 'will be in very different position than it is now'.

Professor Heneghan warned the tiers may already be outdated and 'unjustified' when the national shutdown lapses next week because Covid infections are plummeting across the country.

He said 'if the trend continues it will be hard to justify tougher tiered restrictions' when the lockdown ends on Wednesday.

'The expert urged ministers to lay out exactly what needs to change for high-risk areas to be downgraded.

For example, residents in Manchester should be told if they get their case rates in the over-60s then the region should be moved to Tier Two.

At present, the Government is not doing that and it will wait at least two weeks before reassessing the different tiers.

What do Tiers mean for me, when will restrictions change… and what about Christmas? Vital Q&A on what post-lockdown life will look like from Dec 2

Almost all parts of England will face tough coronavirus curbs with a ban on households mixing indoors and restrictions on hospitality from next Wednesday.

Large swathes of the Midlands, North East and North West are in the most restrictive tier three, but London and much of the South will be in tier two.

Some 23.3 million people will face the most stringent restrictions, while 32 million people will be in the second tier when the national lockdown finishes.

In tier two, the restrictions mean a ban on households mixing indoors and pubs, and restaurants only able to sell alcohol with a 'substantial meal'.

Tier three measures mean a ban on households mixing, except in limited circumstances such as parks, with restaurants limited to takeaway or delivery.

Here, MailOnline answers some of the key questions about the new system, which has slightly different rules to the tiers imposed before the second lockdown:

How do I find out what tier I'm in?

The Government had launched a postcode checker shortly after 11am today, but later removed the feature after it kept failing to work when people tried to use it.

Instead, you can scroll down for our list of what areas are in tier two and three. The only areas in tier one are Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly.

When will the restrictions take effect?

The national lockdown for England ends next Wednesday, December 2 at 00.01am, and the new tier restrictions will come into effect at that point.

How often will the tier placings be reviewed?

The tiers will be reviewed every two weeks, with the first review coming up on December 16. However Health Secretary Matt Hancock has hinted that this may change to be reviewed on a weekly basis instead.

TIER 2 – HIGH ALERT

What does 'tier two' mean?

This means the area is on a 'high alert' for coronavirus, with the Government saying it shows it has a 'higher or rapidly rising level of infections, where some additional restrictions need to be in place'.

Can I see my friends or family indoors?

No, unless they are in your household. You cannot socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place

Can I see my friends and family outdoors, including in gardens?

Yes, with restrictions. You cannot socialise in a group of more than six people outside, including in a garden or a public space. This is called the 'rule of six'.

Can I go the pub?

Yes, with restrictions. You can only inside a pub with your own household, and they are only allowed to serve alcohol with 'substantial meals'.

You can go outside a pub with members of other households within the 'rule of six', but the same rules apply regarding alcohol.

Can I go to a restaurant?

Yes, with the same restrictions as above regarding where you can sit with members of other households.

Can I go up to the bar at a pub or restaurant?

No. Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol.

Are nightclubs reopening?

No, nightclubs still remain closed by law.

Is the curfew on pubs and restaurants still in place?

Yes, but it has been put back an hour. Now, hospitality venues serving alcohol must close between 11pm and 5am, and stop taking orders after 10pm.

Are there exemptions to the curfew?

Yes, hospitality venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway service areas are all exempt from the curfew.

Can you still get a takeaway after 10pm?

Yes. Hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.

Are other businesses also under the curfew?

Yes, the 11pm closure applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and bingo halls.

Are there exemptions for cinemas and theatres with late shows?

Yes. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm.

Are there new capacity rules on audiences at events?

Yes. Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50 per cent capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors

The City of London is surrounded by haze this morning. The capital will be in tier two next week

The City of London is surrounded by haze this morning. The capital will be in tier two next week

Can I go to watch live sport?

Yes. Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50 per cent capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.

Can I go to church?

Yes. Places of worship will be open but you cannot socialise with people from outside of your household or support bubble while you are indoors there, unless a legal exemption applies.

Are weddings back on?

Yes. Weddings can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions.

Are funerals still permitted?

Yes. Now 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes or stonesettings.

Can organised sport continue?

Yes. Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue.

What about organised indoor sport?

Yes, with restrictions. Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with).

There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing.

Will gyms be open?

Yes.

Are there restrictions on travel?

Yes. The Government says you can travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should 'aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible'.

Do the rules change if you travel to a tier one area?

No. If you live in a tier two area, you must continue to follow tier two rules when you travel to a tier one area.

What about if you go to a tier three area?

The Government advises people to avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier three areas 'other than where necessary', such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities.

It adds that people can travel through a tier three area as a part of a longer journey.

If moving between tiers, which rules do you follow?

You must follow the rules of the tier you are in, or the tier you are visiting – whichever is higher.

Can you go abroad?

Yes, with exemptions. For international travel see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list.

What areas are in tier two?

Here is a full list of the areas in tier two, according to the Government website.

East of England

  • Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes
  • Cambridgeshire, including Peterborough
  • Essex, Thurrock and Southend on Sea
  • Hertfordshire
  • Norfolk
  • Suffolk

London

  • all 32 boroughs plus the City of London

South east

  • Bracknell Forest
  • Brighton and Hove
  • Buckinghamshire
  • East Sussex
  • Hampshire (excluding the Isle of Wight), Portsmouth and Southampton
  • Oxfordshire
  • read
  • Surrey
  • West Berkshire
  • West Sussex
  • Windsor and Maidenhead
  • Wokingham

northwest

  • Cumbria
  • Liverpool City Region
  • Warrington and Cheshire

southwest

  • Bath and North East Somerset
  • Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
  • Devon
  • Dorset
  • Gloucestershire
  • South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip and Sedgemoor
  • Wiltshire and Swindon
  • West Midlands
  • Herefordshire
  • Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
  • Worcestershire
  • Yorkshire
  • North Yorkshire
  • York

East Midlands

  • Northamptonshire
  • Rutland

TIER 3 – VERY HIGH ALERT

What does 'tier three' mean?

This is a 'very high' alert level – the highest of the three-tier system – for areas with a very high or very rapidly rising level of infections, where tighter restrictions are in place.

Can I see my friends or family indoors?

No, unless they are in the same household. The rules for this are the same in tier two.

Can I see my friends and family outdoors?

Yes, but not in private gardens. You can only socialise in groups of up to six people in other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility.

People out in Leeds today, before the city enters tier three next Wednesday after lockdown

People out in Leeds today, before the city enters tier three next Wednesday after lockdown

Can I go the pub or restaurant?

No. These all have to shut under law, except for takeaway.

Can I get a takeaway?

Yes. Hospitality settings, such as pubs, cafes and restaurants are allowed to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.

Can I stay in a hotel?

No. Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is 'reasonably necessary for work or education and training'.

What venues have to stay shut?

The majority of entertainment and tourist venues must close, including:

  • indoor play centres and areas, including trampolining parks and soft play
  • casinos
  • bingo halls
  • bowling alleys
  • skating rinks
  • amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
  • laser quests and escape rooms
  • cinemas, theatres and concert halls
  • snooker halls

Can indoor attractions at outdoor venues stay open?

No. Indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close, although indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such attractions can remain open.

This includes indoor attractions within:

  • zoos, safari parks, and wildlife reserves
  • aquariums, visitor attractions at farms, and other animal attractions
  • model villages
  • museums, galleries and sculpture parks
  • botanical gardens, biomes or greenhouses
  • theme parks, circuses, fairgrounds and funfairs
  • visitor attractions at film studios, heritage sites such as castles and stately homes
  • landmarks including observation decks and viewing platforms

Can leisure and sports facilities stay open?

Yes, with restrictions. Group exercise classes including fitness and dance should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should also close.

Can I attend a live sports event?

No. There should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. However, elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators.

People walk through Birmingham today, before the region goes into tier three rules next week

People walk through Birmingham today, before the region goes into tier three rules next week

Können large outdoor events take place?

No. The likes of performances and shows should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events.

Can I still go to church?

Yes. Places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble while you are there, unless a legal exemption applies

Can a wedding take place?

Yes. weddings can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – 15 people can attend the ceremonies, and receptions are not allowed.

Can I go to a funeral?

Yes. Thirty people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events

Can organised outdoor sport take place?

Yes. Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however 'higher-risk contact activity should not take place'.

Can indoor sport take place?

No. Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place indoors.

There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s.

Can I still travel to places?

Yes. You can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should 'aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible'.

Can I go on holiday to other parts of Britain?

No. You should 'avoid travelling to other parts of the UK', including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. However, you can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey.

Can I go abroad?

Yes, with restrictions. For international travel see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list.

What areas are in tier three?

Here is a full list of the areas in tier three, according to the Government website.

East Midlands

  • Derby and Derbyshire
  • Leicester and Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

Northeast

  • Northeast Combined Authority:
  • County Durham
  • Gateshead
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • North Tyneside
  • Northumberland
  • South Tyneside
  • Sunderland
  • Tees Valley Combined Authority:
  • Darlington
  • Hartlepool
  • Middlesbrough
  • Redcar and Cleveland
  • Stockton-on-Teas

northwest

  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Blackpool
  • Greater Manchester
  • Lancashire

South east

  • Kent and Medway
  • Slough (Rest of Berkshire is Tier 2: High Alert)

southwest

  • Bristol
  • North Somerset
  • South Gloucestershire

West Midlands

  • Birmingham and Black Land
  • Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
  • Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull

Yorkshire and The Humber

  • The Humber
  • South Yorkshire
  • West Yorkshire

GATHERING EXEMPTIONS FOR ALL TIERS

Are there exemptions from gatherings limits in all tiers?

Yes, the following exemptions to the 'rule of six' apply below:

  • as part of a single household, or a support bubble
  • for work or providing voluntary or charitable services, including in other people's homes
  • for childcare, education or training – meaning education and training provided as part of a formal curriculum
  • for supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care (before and after-school childcare), groups and activities for under 18s, and children's playgroups
  • for formal support groups, and parent and child groups – up to 15 people aged 5 and older
  • to allow contact between birth parents and children in care, as well as between siblings in care
  • for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians
  • for prospective adopting parents to meet a child or children who may be placed with them
  • for birth partners
  • to attend a funeral – with no more than 30 people present – or a commemorative event such as a wake for someone who has died – with no more than 15 people present
  • to see someone who is terminally ill or at the end of life
  • to attend a wedding or civil partnership – with no more than 15 people present
  • to provide emergency assistance
  • to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm
  • to fulfil a legal obligation, such as attending court or jury service
  • to provide care or assistance to someone vulnerable or to provide respite for a carer
  • to facilitate moving home

CHRISTMAS EXEMPTIONS FOR ALL TIERS

Plans revealed earlier this week to allow people to form a temporary bubble over the festive season were welcome news to families across the country.

But how much do we know about what is being proposed? Here, are some key questions based on information released by the Cabinet Office for England:

What is a Christmas bubble and when can I join one?

People will be allowed to form an exclusive Christmas bubble made up of people from no more than three households between December 23 and 27.

This rule applies across the whole of the UK.

Christmas bubbles can only meet in private homes and gardens, places of worship and public outdoor spaces.

Can I be in more than one Christmas bubble?

No. Christmas bubbles will be fixed for the period they are permitted.

You are also not allowed to change your Christmas bubble once it is formed.

Is there a limit to how many people can be in a Christmas bubble?

The Cabinet Office guidance only stipulates that the bubble should not include people from more than three households.

However, it highlights that the more people someone sees, the more likely they are to catch or spread Covid-19, and asks the public to be mindful of risks before agreeing to form a bubble.

The Scottish Government said people should keep the numbers within a bubble as low as possible and minimise the length of contact between different households in the bubble.

Will we have to social distance within Christmas bubbles?

Social distancing will not be necessary in bubbles, but people will be advised to exercise restraint and judgment if they plan to mix with vulnerable friends or family.

It means friends and family will have the chance to hug for the first time in months.

What happens if I'm self-isolating?

If you have Covid symptoms or are required to self-isolate then you must not join a Christmas bubble.

If someone in a Christmas bubble tests positive for coronavirus or develops symptoms between December 23 and 27, or up to 48 hours after the bubble last met, then all bubble members must self-isolate.

Can I be in a different Christmas bubble from people I normally live with?

Cabinet Office guidance says you can choose to form a different Christmas bubble from the people you live with normally.

To prevent virus transmission within your normal household and between bubbles, people should try to stay with another member of their Christmas bubble between December 23 and 27 where possible.

Extra precautions such as cleaning surfaces and door handles and letting in fresh air after someone has visited your household are also advised.

However, the Scottish Government has said that 'different people in a household should not pick their own bubble'.

Can I still meet people outside of my Christmas bubble?

You will be able to meet people not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier you are staying in.

The tier system of restrictions applies to England, with rules in other parts of the UK varying.

Can I stay overnight with my Christmas bubble?

Yes. If someone is in your Christmas bubble, you can visit each other's homes and stay overnight, including in private rented accommodation.

Can I travel through different areas and across borders to join a Christmas bubble?

Yes. You are allowed to travel between England's tiers and the four nations of the UK to meet your Christmas bubble.

When am I allowed to travel to and from my Christmas bubble?

You should only travel to meet your bubble and return home between December 23 and 27.

For those heading to or from Northern Ireland, they may travel on December 22 and 28 December, but should only meet their Christmas bubble between December 23 and 27.

Travel outside these periods is only allowed in exceptional circumstances, for example if your are required to self-isolate.

People are advised to avoid unnecessary stops on their journey and not to share a car with people not in their household.

If crossing borders, travellers should read the local coronavirus guidance as different rules may apply.

Does my support bubble count as one household still?

According to the Cabinet Office, existing support bubbles will count as one household contributing to the three household Christmas bubble limit.

A support bubble in England is defined as a support network between a single adult household, or a one adult household with one or more people aged under 18 on June 12, and one other household of any size.

Rules on household bubbles are different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with full Christmas guidance still pending from those nations.

Can childcare bubbles continue?

In England, a childcare bubble is where one household links with one other household to provide informal childcare to children aged 13 or under.

Between December 23 and 27 you can continue to use a childcare bubble but 'only if reasonably necessary' and 'where there are no reasonable alternatives', Cabinet Office guidance states.

If meeting socially during this period, the two households should form a Christmas bubble, with one further household permitted to join the grouping.

Again, guidance in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may differ.

What happens to children whose parents are separated?

Children who are aged under 18 can be part of both their parents' Christmas bubbles if the adults do not live together and separate groupings are formed.

Nobody else is allowed to be in two bubbles.

Can care home residents join Christmas bubbles?

In England, visits outside of care homes should only be considered for residents 'of working age'.

A care home resident that is allowed to leave, subject to a home's agreement and individual risk assessments, may form a bubble with one other household only and should not form a three-household Christmas bubble at any point.

If a care home resident does join a household for Christmas they should maintain social distance and take steps to minimise risks.

Can students returning from university join Christmas bubbles?

Students heading home for the holidays will be considered part of the household they return to.

Can I form a Christmas bubble if I am clinically extremely vulnerable?

Yes, but people are warned this involves greater risks.

If someone decides to join a bubble they should take extra precautions, while others within the group should be extra vigilant in the days before getting together.

Can my bubble have Christmas dinner together at the pub?

No. Under the rules Christmas bubbles cannot meet up at indoor settings such as pubs, hotels, retail businesses, theatres or restaurants.

In England, rules on who you can and cannot meet will still depend on which tier of restrictions a venue is in.

Should I follow the rules of the tier I travel to or the tier I've come from when forming my Christmas bubble?

In England, if travelling to join your bubble you should follow the tier rules of your destination.

In Scotland, you must stay with your bubble where they are hosting you and you should follow the travel advice for the level you are in.

For example, people being hosted in a level 3 area cannot go on an outing to a level 2 area.

Can I stay in a hotel during Christmas?

In England, you can stay in a hotel during the Christmas period, including in a tier three area, but only on your own or with members of your household.

How will the Christmas rules be enforced?

No specific details have been released over how authorities might enforce the newly announced rules during the festive period.

Will we face tougher restrictions in January to make up for this?

We do not yet know. It has been speculated that a further circuit-breaker might be needed in January or February if transmission rates rise during Christmas.

The Prime Minister has urged families to still be 'jolly careful', warning against 'a big blowout Christmas' that could risk another lockdown in January.

.(tagsToTranslate)dailymail(t)news(t)US Politics(t)Downing Street(t)Coronavirus(t)UK Government News and updates on the British Cabinet(t)NHS(t)Coronavirus Lockdowns(t)London(t)Boris Johnson