Boris Johnson is due to announce today the plains the country will be moved to with London and Liverpool by Christmas in hopes of avoiding the toughest restrictions.
However, according to a study published yesterday that found it was "clearly inadequate" the last time, Tier 1 is almost nowhere granted – only one of the 169 areas previously under these rules saw a decrease in cases record.
However, there have been growing hopes that London will remain in Tier 2 due to a general decline in infections and especially those over 60 as well as one of the lowest hospital entry rates for Covid in England.
Government sources said "at least one" of the cities that were in Tier 3 would fall into Tier 2, with most signs pointing to Liverpool after the infection rate dropped dramatically from 162 per 100,000 from 700 five weeks ago.
The revised Tier 2 restrictions close pubs unless they serve meals and order people not to meet other households indoors.
Manchester, which has been more politically resilient than Liverpool, is expected to remain in Tier 3, which means a ban on the entire hotel industry, as well as encounters with households other than public spaces.
The Prime Minister told MPs last night that the new measures would be "very tough".
"We have to keep our foot on the throat of this virus," Johnson said, according to The Times.
A shopper walks through the Burlington Arcade in central London on Wednesday. The capital is expected to be subject to Tier 2 restrictions. This means that unless they can function as restaurants and people from separate households cannot mingle indoors, all pubs must close
Boris Johnson video-linked to Parliament about his self-isolation on Downing Street after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the virus
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
The onerous tiered system will run across England from December 3 to the end of March, the Prime Minister said
The few regions where Tier 1 rules could be allowed are isolated parts of east England as well as rural Cumbria and Cornwall, where the rule of six will continue to apply, The Telegraph reported.
Professor Carl Heneghan, director of the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University, claimed that cases are not increasing and that higher rates have been skewed by increasing tests
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 Tier 3 is effectively a transition to lockdown under a different name.
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.
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.
WHAT ARE THE NEW ANIMAL RULES?
Level one will be the default and action cannot be more relaxed in any part of England:
- The rule of six and social distancing apply to both indoor and outdoor gatherings.
- Pubs and restaurants may only be opened with table service and a closing time of 11 p.m.
- People from separate households cannot meet inside and the rule of six applies outside;
- Pubs have to close unless they work as restaurants. Alcoholic drinks are served with meals.
Level three will be the toughest level of restrictions and the rules have been tightened to make them stricter than before. All Tier Two rules apply, plus the following:
- Indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas, theaters and bowling alleys must be closed.
- Pubs, restaurants and cafes must be closed except for takeout.
- Shops, hairdressers and salons can remain open;
- Groups of six people are only allowed to meet outdoors.
- Crowds at live events are prohibited.
- People should avoid traveling to or from Tier 3 areas unless it is inevitable.
“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 told MPs he disagreed with their "dire prediction," The Telegraph reported, believing 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;
Health Secretary Matt Hancock will announce the restrictions today following Mr Johnson's final decisions on the Covid Operations Committee.
Mr. Hancock said, “Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of people across the country, we can move out of national lockdown and into more targeted local, graduated restrictions.
“I know this is going to be a particularly difficult time for those of you facing Tier 3 restrictions, but I want to assure you that we will be supporting your areas with mass community testing and additional funding.
"By following the rules together, we can get out of these tough measures."
Official data showed that 696 deaths were confirmed yesterday. This is the highest since 726 deaths on May 5th
The Ministry of Health said decisions about levels would be based on a number of factors, including case detection rates in all age groups, and particularly those over 60.
NEW HEAVY TOCKED LOCKDOWNS NOT NECESSARY BECAUSE THE PREVIOUS SYSTEM WAS ENOUGH, STUDY FINDS
Boris Johnson's original three-step approach would have gotten the second wave under control if all areas had been removed from Tier 1, according to one study.
University of East Anglia researchers checked local data from all of England's 343 local authorities, saying the national lockdown was unnecessary.
They found that Tier 3 measures worked in all areas of the highest tier and Tier 2 was effective in most areas – although Tier 1 was largely redundant.
The scientists said the localized approach would have gotten the second epidemic under control with a few simple changes – scrapping the lowest tier and moving areas from Tier 2 to Tier 3 faster.
They hope their research will be used to help the new, tougher system work better when the country comes out of lockdown on December 2nd.
Lead researcher Professor Paul Hunter wrote in the study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal, “In our view, the main problem was not with the levels, but that the local authorities were not involved in the best suitable stage fast enough.
“The three-tier system would probably have been enough to control the epidemic if all authorities had been moved from Tier 1 to Tier 2 and if the authorities where the epidemic was increasing in Tier 2 had been moved to Tier 3 more quickly.
"If the authorities are not moved up one notch until the number of ascending cases is already out of control, the horse has already run away."
How quickly fall rates rise or fall is taken into account as well as local pressures on the NHS, including current and planned capacity.
Level 3 areas are supported by NHS Test and Trace and the Armed Forces to run a six-week rapid community testing program that uses rapid cross-flow tests that provide results within an hour.
Liverpool City Mayor Steve Rotheram said he hoped the area – which was the last to reach the highest level for the first time – would not revert to level 3 restrictions.
He said, "The progress we've made since our Tier 3 rating is remarkable. We've grown from two areas with infection rates of around 750 per 100,000 to 180 across the metropolitan area."
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said it was "more than likely" that his area would be subject to Tier 3 restrictions.
He said even though the infection numbers are still high in Greater Manchester, the rates have been falling.
He added: “If things continue in this direction at the rate at which Greater Manchester is changing, I would like to ask the government for a serious review of Greater Manchester's position at the first review of the proposed tiering arrangements in place two weeks. & # 39;
Meanwhile, Lancashire council presidents have made a proposal to the government to split the county into two different tiers when the lockdown ends next week.
It has been requested that Hyndburn, Rossendale, Burnley, Pendle and Preston be subject to Tier 3 restrictions while Fylde, Wyre, Lancaster, Chorley, South Ribble, Ribble Valley and West Lancashire are subject to Tier 2 restrictions.
And London Mayor Sadiq Khan said it was the "right and sensible decision" to place the capital in Tier 2 as he warned that Tier 3 is a "hammer blow" for businesses.
The animal system is reintroduced in England as scientists have warned that the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions over Christmas could lead to a third wave of the pandemic and another lockdown.
The Prime Minister urged the public to "think carefully" about the festive season after it was confirmed that three households can form a Christmas bubble from December 23-27.
Professor Graham Medley, an infectious disease modeling expert at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said easing restrictions during the holiday season could lead to more people being hospitalized and more lockdown measures in place in the New Year.
Government figures said an additional 696 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total to 56,533 in the UK.
Another 18,213 laboratory-confirmed cases of coronavirus were reported on Wednesday.
In Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has stated that the rules by which people can meet for Christmas are likely to be tightened if they leave on Thursday.
She said, "The expectation should be that the leadership is likely to narrow at the margins rather than widening, and so is the travel window of opportunity – we want to narrow that window, not widen it."
The Welsh cabinet is also expected to meet to decide whether further restrictions similar to the English tier system will be needed before Christmas, although a decision is not expected to be announced until Friday.
In Northern Ireland, stricter lockdown restrictions will be introduced starting Friday. Pubs, restaurants, non-essential retail stores and close contact services will be closed for two weeks.
FIVE reasons why Tier 3 is wrong for London
Falling Infections: Infection rates in London are currently below the national average.
The capital has a 7-day rate of 187 cases per 100,000 population compared to 230 in England overall. There is also a huge gap between London and regions in the north that are sure to fall into tier three. Yorkshire and the Humber has a 339-81 percent higher rate. Cases in London have been steadily decreasing over the past fortnight.
Hospital capacity: London was hit the hardest and suffered the most during the first wave. At the beginning of April there were almost 5,000 Covid-19 patients in the capital's hospitals. Now official data show significant spare capacity in NHS hospitals.
There are currently 1,489 virus patients in London hospitals – less than a third of the levels seen in the spring. Of these, 253 are on ventilators, compared to a high of 1,046 on April 13.
Deaths are low: deaths are a fraction of the values seen during the first wave.
Over the past week, an average of 20 people died a day in London. 22 were reported on Tuesday. This corresponds to a high of 232 on April 8th.
Economic Impact: Mayor Sadiq Khan said London's third tier admission would "blow a hammer" to businesses such as pubs and restaurants.
London is vital to the UK economy and contributes around a quarter of the country's GDP. The West End alone accounts for 4 percent of GDP, but bars, restaurants, and theaters face potential economic ruin.
Variation within the city: Politicians have argued that blanket lockdown measures across London make no sense if there are large differences between districts. The hardest hit district – Havering – has a 7-day infection rate of 360 cases per 100,000 people. This is almost four times that of Camden (97) and Richmond (108).
We're being softened to draconian new curbs … and kamikaze sabotage of our economy
Commentary by Stephen Glover for the Daily Mail
Rishi Sunak gave an impressive speech in the House of Commons yesterday. The Chancellor's calm manner and attention to detail filled me with confidence.
His message was that even though Britain is in an "economic emergency", the government is ready to spend a lot of money that we don't have to get out of it. Better times are around the corner.
But do they do that? Could our ailing economy recover more slowly than Mr Sunak hopes if the scientists who have captured half of Boris Johnson's brain and all of Matt Hancock's brain prevail?
Today the government will unveil its new system of "stages" that will take effect when the lockdown ends on December 2nd. There is reason to fear that most of England will fall below Strict Level Two for weeks or the fluctuating Level Three, possibly months.
Rishi Sunak (pictured) gave an impressive speech in the House of Commons yesterday. The Chancellor's calm manner and attention to detail filled me with confidence
London could be in tier three, which would disable the capital. Parts of the north are sure to be ranked top tier. And yet, new infections across England are falling to just 9,854 on Tuesday, about half a week earlier.
According to Professor Carl Heneghan, an expert in evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, it will be difficult to justify tighter tiered restrictions after December 2 if the trend continues.
However, this appears to be the government's intention. The ministers use criteria that are far from transparent and seek advice from a shadow body called the Joint Biosecurity Center to determine our future.
Will the Prime Minister and Cabinet meekly submit? Or do they dare to stop this suicide rush to damage new restrictions imposed by unaccountable scientists who have no knowledge of economics or economics?
If ever there was a time for Mr. Johnson to heed his own Tory instincts rather than the advice of scientists, this is the right one. I am afraid it will riot the British public.
In the last few days he has presented himself as Santa Claus. It is a rum state to be told that we can lead a fairly normal life for five days over Christmas and that up to three households are allowed to mix, which is considered a dispensation. Gosh, we're even allowed to hug!
Below tier three, pubs and restaurants will have to close except for food stalls. Under Tier Two, pubs can only sell drinks with "large" meals, which is inconvenient for most of them. Pictured a pub in Skipton in August
We have become so used to our freedoms being restricted and the government micro-managing the smallest aspects of our lives that even a partial repeal of the draconian rules is received as a relief.
Are we getting softened? Will Boris, who pretended to be a brilliant Santa Claus, return to Scrooge soon?
We could sleepwalk into another lock, similar to the one we will emerge from, though called something else, in the hopes that we will be too demob-happy to notice.
To get a glimpse of the rigid minds of some scientists telling the Prime Minister what to do, I would like to introduce Professor Andrew Hayward, a member of the Sage Advisory Board.
On Monday, that misery declared that the détente will allow the virus to consciously spiral out of control for Christmas and we need further lockdown measures. But the people who are infected and die as a result – we will not get their lives back. "
Perhaps the zealots really don't like the fact that for the first time in ages people will decide for themselves. Children, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles – everyone can weigh up the risks and opportunities and decide for themselves instead of having to make them up again.
Are we getting softened? Will Boris, who pretended to be a brilliant Santa Claus, return to Scrooge soon? Pictured Christmas lights on New Bond Street in Mayfair, London, on Tuesday
But it won't be long. We may have thought that the government scholars – with their exaggeratedly bleak projections and their sometimes misleading graphs – were on the decline, but no. You are still responsible.
In fact, I bet the prospect of a vaccine makes them even more presumptuous. They expect us to endure a few more months of hardship and imprisonment, believing that deliverance is near.
Maybe we will. But I don't think the economy can survive any more shocks. Below tier three, pubs and restaurants will have to close except for food stalls. Under Tier Two, pubs can only sell drinks with "large" meals, which is inconvenient for most of them.
Tens of thousands of businesses and millions of jobs are at stake, although there is limited evidence that pubs and restaurants are happy hunting grounds for the virus.
Emma McClarkin of the British Beer and Pub Association says pubs are facing "economic devastation" and wonder why they cannot "open properly while households in private settings can mix".
A nearly empty Leicester Square in London, Tuesday 24th November 2020. Haircuts, shopping trips and pub visits will be back on the agenda for millions of people when a four-week lockdown in England ends next week
Meanwhile, JD Wetherspoon chief Tim Martin warned Tuesday that a million jobs could be lost due to the government's "flawed" approach. He added, "Nobody in government seems to have any experience running a business."
He is absolutely right. Ministers don't seem to know what makes companies tick any more than wise scientists do. That is shocking in a conservative cabinet.
Bringing London into the third tier would be particularly idiotic, not least because it generates around 22 percent of Britain's GDP. Labor Mayor Sadiq Khan said he would "hammer blow" companies. "Our city's unique ecosystem of bars, restaurants, clubs, and cultural institutions would suffer immeasurable losses, and some might not survive."
And what would the basic principle be? The incidence of new infections in London shows a 7-day rate of 187 Covid cases per 100,000, compared to 230 cases per 100,000 in England as a whole. Cases in the capital have decreased in the past 14 days, including among those over 60 who are most at risk from the virus.
Covid patients are not bursting at the seams in London's hospitals either, although ministers never say so. There are currently 1,489 patients with the virus in hospitals across the capital, less than a third of the number at the height of the spring pandemic. Of these, 253 are equipped with mechanical ventilators, compared to a high of 1,046 in April.
I am only staying in London for its importance to the economy, but the same arguments apply to much of England which may suffer from the government purge.
Of course it could be a bluff. The government could pretend that capital is headed for Tier Three, so there will be far-reaching relief when it gets into Tier Two today. But Tier Two is more draconian than it was before the lockdown. London should be in Tier One.
If Mr Johnson insists on including most of England in Tier Two and Tier Three, he will face opposition from dozens of Tory MPs and may not be able to take his coercive measures through the Commons without Labor support. That would be humiliating.
We have a two-part government. A part who was embodied by Rishi Sunak yesterday looks to the future, is aware of the uncertainty of our situation, but calmly plans ahead.
The other part, represented by Matt Hancock and a group of scholars who know nothing about the business, is ready to strangle the economy in some foolish act of sabotage. We are about to find out if Boris Johnson is a prudent or a kamikaze Tory.
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