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Britain will be almost completely caged by Easter


Almost the entire nation is slated to be banned from indoor socializing by Easter, officials admitted last night.

The senior sources said it was "unrealistic" to expect areas under the toughest curbs – levels two and three – to descend to level one before spring.

As part of a "virtual lockdown" revealed on Thursday, 99 percent of the population was divided into the two top levels, which prohibits household assemblies and paralyzes the hospitality trade.

Tory Backbenchers accused the government of risking catastrophic damage to the economy. More than 50 Conservative MPs were predicted to rebel in a Commons showdown next week.

Boris Johnson may now have to rely on Labor votes for support for his tightened animal system. The dissatisfied MPs want regular votes on the level areas.

New data also showed that the disease's & # 39; R & # 39; rate of reproduction may have dropped below the all-important number one – meaning the outbreak is shrinking rather than growing.

Senior MPs used the news to urge Mr Johnson to stop his proposals to plunge 99 percent of England into the toughest two stages of lockdown if the current blanket squeeze ends on December 2nd.

Tory Backbenchers accused the government of risking catastrophic damage to the economy. More than 50 Conservative MPs were predicted to rebel in a Commons showdown next week

Almost the entire nation is slated to be banned from indoor socializing by Easter, officials admitted last night. The senior sources said it was "unrealistic" to expect areas under the toughest curbs - levels two and three - to descend to level one before spring

Almost the entire nation is slated to be banned from indoor socializing by Easter, officials admitted last night. The senior sources said it was "unrealistic" to expect areas under the toughest curbs – levels two and three – to descend to level one before spring

As part of a "virtual lockdown" revealed on Thursday, 99 percent of the population was divided into the two top levels, which prohibits household assemblies and paralyzes the hospitality trade

As part of a "virtual lockdown" revealed on Thursday, 99 percent of the population was divided into the two top levels, which prohibits household assemblies and paralyzes the hospitality trade

Boris Johnson may now have to rely on Labor votes for support for his tightened animal system. The dissatisfied MPs want regular votes on which level areas are set up. (Above the Prime Minister at Porton Down Science Park near Salisbury on Friday.)

Boris Johnson may now have to rely on Labor votes for support for his tightened animal system. The dissatisfied MPs want regular votes on which level areas are set up. (Above the Prime Minister at Porton Down Science Park near Salisbury on Friday.)

To quell the Tory insurrection, ministers circulated the idea that some rural areas are being "decoupled" from nearby virus hotspots that the Telegraph said had dragged them to tougher strata.

Matt Hancock is among the ministers reportedly holding talks with backers to raise hope that their constituencies will see lockdowns eased in December.

"I'm afraid the plains will be like purgatory with no escape," said William Wragg, chairman of the Commons Committee on Public Administration.

“It is important that there is a clear pathway for areas to emerge from tighter tiered restrictions. We cannot have families, communities and businesses in the balance. & # 39;

Mr Johnson acknowledged that people in England were "frustrated", especially in areas with low infection rates which are now severely restricted.

However, he refused to adopt a more localized system, saying it was "too difficult to divide the land into burdens and burdens of very complex subdivisions".

When the Prime Minister faced one of the worst uprisings of his term:

  • The critical R-rate fell below 1 for the first time in three months;
  • In the northwest, it can be as low as 0.7, with Covid-19 infections falling by up to 5 percent per day;
  • Scientists advised families not to sing, dance, or even play board games at Christmas.
  • They were also told to self-isolate two weeks before and after a "Christmas bubble" formed.
  • Downing Street said that pub goers in most parts of England have to go home after they have eaten;
  • GCSE and A-Level students receive priority for in-person tuition as part of emergency plans.
  • "Anti-Vaxx" fighters began to take advantage of confusion over Oxford's coronavirus vaccine dates.
  • 16,022 Covid cases and 521 deaths were reported yesterday;
  • The morbidly obese will have priority for vaccinations;
  • One lab error meant more than 1,300 people mistakenly had the coronavirus.
  • Hospitals were told to prepare for the Pfizer vaccine launch in just ten days.

When Boris Johnson visited the laboratory in Porton Down on Friday, he admitted the brutal new levels are "frustrating" for areas with low infection - but refused to change course, insisting that the rules be "easy "must be kept.

When Boris Johnson visited the laboratory in Porton Down on Friday, he admitted the brutal new levels are "frustrating" for areas with low infection – but refused to change course, insisting that the rules be "easy "must be kept.

MPs will vote on Tuesday on the new level system, which the government has announced will remain in place until the end of March. After the introduction, the ministers have to decide whether the areas move between the different levels.

Only Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly – 1 percent of the population – will have the slightest restrictions when the lockdown is lifted next week. All others are in grades two and three.

The prime minister yesterday raised the prospect that restrictions could be eased in some parts of the country within weeks as he tried to stave off the Tory uprising.

Diners are kicked out of Tier 2 pubs as soon as they finish their "hearty meal" … even if they haven't finished their drinks

Drinkers must leave pubs or restaurants as soon as they dined on Downing Street's latest extraordinary dictation yesterday.

Tier 2 guests in England will no longer be able to linger or order more alcohol after they have eaten – and are expected to leave, even if they have more to drink after the national lockdown ends on December 2nd.

Landlords are expected to urge their customers to leave the company – or impose heavy fines for violating the government's strict coronavirus laws – with critics accusing the prime minister of treating the public "like children".

A reviewer tweeted yesterday: "How can the f *** who drinks an extra glass of wine after dinner at the same table increase your chances of getting coronavirus?"

The extraordinary rule will further upset the hospitality industry, which already believes pubs, bars and restaurants are being wrongly blamed for the spread of the coronavirus. Only 5 percent of Covid-19 cases were transmitted in the UK hospitality industry.

When asked how long drinkers can stay in the pub after buying a substantial meal, the prime minister's spokesman said, “We found that in Tier 2 I think you need a substantial meal if you order alcohol, and this one remains the case that the instructions say that once the meal is finished, it is at that point. & # 39;

Sir David Amess said last night he expected "more than 50" Tory MPs to vote against the government. However, scientific advisors have warned that tier one rules are not strict enough.

Officials expect some areas to switch between levels two and three, though this is unlikely to happen before Christmas.

However, a senior source said yesterday that it would be "surprising" if rates in second tier areas fell enough to go down to tier one by the time of vaccination.

Government officials have warned December and January will be the "toughest" ones to fight the virus. Covid-19 spreads easier in winter – at a time when the NHS will also face tremendous pressure and a flu season.

"All of these things conspire against the ability to relax levels," said a source. Former Minister Damian Green claimed it was "irrational" to impose the harshest restrictions on entire counties when some cities were barely hit.

He added, "If people think the restrictions are arbitrary or shouldn't be applied to their area, they are more likely to break the rules."

Former Cabinet Secretary Sir Iain Duncan Smith told MailOnline that Mr Johnson should postpone the change of tiers for another two weeks so the full effects of the national lockdown are clear.

He said, “What the hell is the government doing? I can't believe they didn't wait to see what the characters did and what Lockdown did.

& # 39; The whole thing is on a downward trend. This week is the first week you see the lockout numbers.

“My big question is why are we rushing to make this decision now. Why not wait and see how the lockdown has worked?

& # 39; You should postpone the final decision on these levels until they see where we are likely to be … that would allow you to say that some of these areas don't need to go to tier 3 and some of them go to tier 1 can . & # 39;

However, the prime minister showed no sign of bowing to the brewery mutiny and insisted that, while he "fully understood" why people in areas with low infection were upset about being subjected to tighter restrictions. However, it was not possible to treat neighboring locations differently.

During a visit to the Porton Down laboratory site in Wiltshire, Mr Johnson expressed the prospect that some areas could have their status downgraded upon a December 16 review – but suggested that it likely would not mean anyone else was into tier 1 gets in.

Mr Johnson said, “I know that when people are in a high level area, when there are very few cases in their village or area, it is frustrating for people. I completely understand why people are frustrated. & # 39; He added, "There really is a prospect that areas … are able to move down."

Yesterday's infections represent a 20.9 percent decrease from the 20,252 last week and an 8.7 percent decrease from yesterday's 17,555. The seven-day average number of daily cases – a more accurate measure as it takes into account the fluctuations in the daily recordings – is now 16,725 after having decreased for 12 days in a row.

The UK coronavirus reproduction rate may have fallen below the crucial number one. SAGE believes every region in England has an R under an except for London and the South East, where it's hovering around the crucial number

A growing number of Tory MPs have openly criticized the government's local lockdown levels - although some have indicated that they will abstain from a crunch vote next week rather than directly opposing the plan.

The UK coronavirus reproduction rate may have fallen below the crucial number of one (see left). SAGE estimates that every region in England has an R below one except for London and the South East, where it hovers around the all-important number. A growing number of Tory MPs (listed on right) have openly criticized the government's local lockdown levels – although some have indicated that they will abstain from a crunch vote next week rather than directly opposing the plan

HOW HAS THE RATE CHANGED IN THE UK?

AREA

ENGLAND

United Kingdom

— —.

EAST

LONDON

MEDITERRANEAN

NORTH EAST

NORTHWEST

SOUTH-EAST

SOUTHWEST

THIS WEEK

0.9 – 1.0

0.9 – 1.0

— —.

0.9-1.1

1.0 – 1.1

0.9-1.1

0.8 – 1.0

0.7-0.9

1.0 – 1.2

0.9-1.1

LAST WEEK

1.0 – 1.1

1.0 – 1.1

— —.

1.0-1.3

1.0 – 1.2

1.0 – 1.2

1.0 – 1.1

0.8 – 1.0

1.1 – 1.3

1.0-1.3

The 521 deaths announced in the last 24 hours are 1.9 percent higher than last Friday's 511 and 4.6 percent higher than yesterday's 498. Covid deaths are two to three weeks behind the infection trend as people need time to to get seriously ill with the disease. Experts believe the deaths will finally subside next month after the country's second lockdown ends.

It came as a weekly report from SAGE – number 10 on the Emergency Scientific Advisory Group – which found that the UK coronavirus R-rate may have fallen below the crucial number one. The group estimates that the & # 39; R & # 39; across the UK is between 0.9 and 1.0 compared to 1.0 to 1.1 last week.

SAGE believes every region in England has an R under an except for London and the South East, where it's about the critical number. The R-value indicates the average number of people to whom each Covid-19 patient passes the disease and is one of the key indicators of the spread of the virus. If R is greater than one, the epidemic is growing, and if it is below one, it means the crisis is shrinking.

Only three local areas saw Covid rates spike last week

Only three local authorities in England saw their coronavirus infection rates spike last week, official data showed – although 99 percent of the country will be slammed into second or third stage lockdowns next week.

And more than half – 97 out of 149 – saw a decrease in the number of Covid cases of at least 25 percent, according to Public Health England's weekly infection monitoring report.

Medway, East Sussex and Redbridge in London were the three authorities to see Covid-19 infections rise 28.4 percent, 5.2 percent and 5 percent, respectively, as lockdown restrictions entered their third week.

Health Department officials claim the percentage change in Covid infection rates is key in determining the levels, along with pressure on the local NHS, overall infection rates, cases in over 60 years and the percentage of tests positive for Covid-19 been used.

However, figures support claims made by angry MPs and some scholars that ministers who refused to give precise thresholds for imposing restrictions on certain areas should have moved more local authorities to looser levels because of the rapidly falling infections.

Experts said they believed ministers had been "cautious" in applying stages because of an expected increase over Christmas, but that many areas would likely move to the second stage after the holiday season ends.

This came after Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick suggested moving local authorities to Level 2 before Christmas, provided their case rates fell to low levels. And Boris Johnson admitted the brutal new levels are "frustrating" for areas with low infection – but refused to change course, insisting that the rules must be kept "simple".

And with the second wave of coronavirus already peaking, Cambridge University researchers have revamped their model behind the dire estimate of 4,000 deaths per day that led ministers to even impose a second national lockdown cases across England have declined last month.

It's the first time since the week leading up to September 4 that the R has gone below one before the second wave began when universities and schools returned later this month. The fact that the disease is already on the wane will raise further questions as to whether there is a need to hit 99 percent of people in England with tough lockdown levels from next Wednesday. Number 10 and its scientists insist that the draconian curbs are needed to limit the damage if the lockdown is relaxed for five days over Christmas.

It's possible that the R-rate in England is even below Friday's estimate as SAGE's modeling is about two to three weeks delayed and the full effects of the lockdown have only just begun to take hold. The group uses hospital stays and death rates to get a more accurate estimate, and it takes weeks for Covid-19 patients to become seriously ill after the virus emerges.

The estimates for R and growth rate are provided by the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modeling (SPI-M), a subgroup of SAGE. The growth rate for the UK, which estimates how quickly the number of infections changes from day to day, is between minus 2 percent and zero.

The most likely value is in the middle of this range, say experts advising the government. SAGE has also said that different policies across the four countries that make up the UK mean that the estimate of R for the UK as a whole has lost importance in recent weeks.

The experts said the effects of the lockdown measures introduced in England on November 5 can be seen starting this week and cannot be fully assessed. However, they estimate that R for England continues to decrease and "could already be below 1 for all regions".

Professor Mark Woolhouse, epidemiologist at the University of Edinburgh, said last night: "It is encouraging news that R-numbers across the UK are now below one and may continue to decline once the full effects of the lockdown become apparent".

He indicated that R fell from a high of up to 1.6 on October 2 – suggesting that the changes made in September are having an impact.

"(This) could indicate that the actions taken this month have had some impact in some regions of the UK," he said. & # 39; It's very difficult to filter out the effects of different measures that are put in place in quick succession.

"However, these data raise the question of whether past action without a full lockdown would have been enough to keep the epidemic at bay and prevent local NHS trusts from becoming overwhelmed."

However, Professor Liam Smeeth of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said the lockdown clearly had the desired effect.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that the stricter measures of the last few weeks are having an impact," he said.

“Infections were increasing rapidly – and everything we know, including direct experience from the first wave – tells us that infections continued to rise and are now increasing. The collective actions of society have literally reshaped the pandemic. Together we could control this virus. & # 39;

He added, “If all goes well, within a few months we will likely have vaccinated the elderly population, nursing home residents and people with serious underlying diseases that put them at high risk from Covid-19.

& # 39; Even if the virus continues to circulate at the high levels we saw in March or October 2020, hospital stays and death rates from Covid-19 will not be anywhere near the previous levels.

"The very real fear that the NHS will be overwhelmed by severe Covid-19 will subside."

Earlier, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said there was "every reason to believe" that restrictions could be eased in some places in the coming weeks – although MPs were told by other ministers that this would hardly be possible before January.

Senior Conservatives have warned that the Prime Minister will face "the greatest revolt in this Parliament" if the plan goes through a Commons vote on Tuesday.

The latest official data from Friday will show that only three local authorities in England saw their coronavirus infection rates spike last week.

More than half – 97 out of 149 – saw a decrease in the number of Covid cases by at least 25 percent, according to Public Health England's weekly infection monitoring report.

Medway, East Sussex and Redbridge in London were the three authorities that saw Covid-19 infections rise 28.4 percent, 5.2 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

How close is your area to moving the COVID TIERS up or down?

An official graph showing coronavirus outbreaks across the country suggests there are parts of the north of England that could be "de-escalated" in January.

The graph published by Public Health England shows that some parts of the country have the fastest falling infection rates and health bosses are monitoring their "continuous improvement".

Although much of the north of the country and the Midlands will fall under the strictest Tier 3 rules at the end of the lockdown next Thursday, many areas may be on the way to relaxing the rules.

Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire are already on the verge of entering the second tier due to falling infection rates, as the graph shows. They appear closer to the yellow Tier 2 group than the third tier in red. Stratford upon Avon was a place that caused an uproar when it turned out to be the toughest of restrictions, as the infection rate there is only about half the time national average is.

And the graph shows a rapid decline in cases in South Yorkshire, Lancashire and Derbyshire that could benefit them in the coming weeks.

The PHE report states, “This graph shows some decreases in weekly case rates in the north of England and other areas where case rates are high but falling. Continuous improvement in the coming period could turn these areas into candidates for de-escalation in the New Year. & # 39;

Meanwhile, Suffolk is one of the least affected areas in Tier Two and it might even be on the way to hopping into the coveted Tier One that only Cornwall and the Isle of Wight can currently afford.

A dispute broke out over the government's tiering decisions last night when MPs and members of the public in many tier-three areas were outraged at having to face the strictest rules despite relatively lower or improved infection rates.

Hospitality leaders say three-quarters of pubs and restaurants will become "unprofitable" under the draconian rules after the blanket national lockdown ends on December 2, leaving 32 million people in tier 2 and 23 million in tier 3.

Rural places like the village of Penshurst in Kent, which has seen only three cases in the past week, have been given Tier 3 because they are subject to a local authority with high rates of infection.

In a round of interviews on Friday, Mr. Jenrick tried to ease tension by emphasizing that there will be a review of animal assignments on December 16, which will then be reviewed every week.

& # 39; It is possible. In 14 days, around December 16, there will be a checkpoint. At this point, we will – with expert advice – examine each area of ​​the local authorities and see if there is any potential to move down the levels, ”he told Sky News.

However, MPs have told MailOnline that Health Secretary Helen Whately said on a conference call yesterday that there would be little chance of changing allocations before January. And government sources told the Times that it would have to wait for the effects of the relaxation of the "Christmas bubble" to become clear.

SAGE experts also questioned the idea of ​​postponements in two weeks, warning that it would not be long enough to assess what impact the measures had had.

A Tory MP told MailOnline, “I think the plan needs to be much more nuanced and re-examined.

"A lot of people say they are in a certain county that is not badly affected but being punished for having a city with a high infection rate on the other end of the county."

The MP said Mr Johnson must prove the levels are "absolutely necessary" by making all of his evidence public.

They said, "When you restrict people's freedoms, you have to come up with very conclusive evidence."

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Tory Committee, said: “My concerns are twofold; The first is that the restrictions at levels 2 and 3 are a massive limitation on people's basic human rights: you need to tell them when to see their children and grandchildren, prevent people from meeting their partners, and prevent people from Visiting vulnerable relatives in nursing homes.

"Second, the levels have been applied unfairly and unfairly, closing entire counties when there are very few infections in significant areas."

Shipley MP Philip Davies told his local Telegraph & Argus he would vote against the plans.

& # 39; I'm not surprised. I was pretty sure that this would be the result, ”he said.

“That doesn't make me any less angry about it. I'm absolutely mad about it to be completely honest. & # 39;

Mr Jenrick said the places that could be moved down at the next review point were those that were "finely balanced" in making decisions this week.

“There have been a number of places that were fairly balanced judgments, where they were at the height of different levels. These are the places where they are more likely to be in that position, ”he said.

“We must also keep in mind that there will be an opening over the Christmas season that is likely to lead to a higher rate of infection when some people meet family and friends on Christmas Day and in the days around them.

& # 39; Our overall approach is to ensure that the levels hold the line and that the locations are in a de-escalation process. What we don't want is to wear off too quickly and then find that we have to get the levels back up in January.

"But there is every reason to believe that locations could change from December 16-17."

Speaking at a # 10 press conference last night after being released from a fortnight of isolation, Mr Johnson admitted that Britain was facing a "harsh winter". He apologized to the hospitality industry.

He said the second lockdown helped bring the pandemic under control, but added, “If we slack off now, we risk losing control of this virus again, tossing aside our hard-won gains and getting back in forcing a new year national lockdown with all the damage that would mean. & # 39;

Mr Johnson denied the harsh new restrictions were a back door lockdown, pointing out that shops, hairdressers and gyms can reopen on all three levels from December 2nd.

Insisting that communities stuck in the highest levels could move to a more relaxed regime if the case numbers fell, he added, "Your level is not your destiny."

But it was undermined by Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, who said it would likely take "months" for a significant part of the country to move to the bottom tier.

Rural places like the village of Penshurst in Kent (pictured), which has seen only three cases in the past week, have been placed in the third tier because they are subject to a local authority with high rates of infection

Rural places like the village of Penshurst in Kent (pictured), which has seen only three cases in the past week, have been placed in the third tier because they are subject to a local authority with high rates of infection

PM & # 39; Gove Override & # 39; To Bring London To Tier 2

Boris Johnson has overruled Michael Gove's call to put London under the toughest coronavirus lockdown after lobbying by Tory MPs, it was alleged on Friday.

The capital was ranked Tier 2 when the allotments were announced yesterday, which gave some relief to the troubled economy and hospitality industry.

Matt Hancock made it clear, however, that it was a borderline decision and warned that "there would be a lot of work to be done" to stay on the lower end.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove, who is considered one of the leading "doves" in the top ranks of the government, is said to have urged London to be in the hardest bracket at an important meeting on Wednesday. But Mr Johnson – a former city mayor – contradicted his verdict, according to the Telegraph.

Neighboring Kent has been moved to Tier 3 despite being angry that it spans many areas with low infection rates.

Sources close to Mr Gove refused to comment on discussions in the Covid O Cabinet Committee on Wednesday – although they did not deny that he had suggested London should be in Tier 3.

Downing Street has denied that the ruling on London was influenced by economic or political concerns.

But in the run-up to the animal assignments, Tory MPs and mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey had called for it to be rated Tier 2. Many requested that the city be treated from city to city.

Ex-minister Tobias Ellwood yesterday urged the government to use more recent data to make decisions and consider options like restrictions on travel in the country.

The Bournemouth MP suggested that BBC Breakfast abstain next week: “My biggest criticism, I think, is the data we are using. They made a decision on November 25th, using last week's data for the vote that will take place next week.

“I really want the decisions to be made based on updated data a few days before these new restrictions come into effect.

“I would also go further to say that I would have liked to see a blanket order of a travel ban of maybe up to 10 to 15 miles across the country so that Tier 1 areas are better protected and areas that are Tier 3 can be better targeted with support.

"The fact is, people can still move around a lot, and I'm afraid the virus still has the ability to move."

Former Cabinet Secretary Damian Green, whose Kent constituency was ranked top tier three despite a relatively low case rate, predicted a widespread Tory MP uprising next week.

"The government is in bigger trouble than it thinks," he said. & # 39; These decisions enraged many of the Tory core countries as well as many of our newly won constituencies in the North and Midlands.

"You could watch the biggest rebellion in this Parliament."

However, SAGE member Professor John Edmunds said they had little chance of assessing how well the new tiered controls were working when they line up for the first 14-day review in mid-December.

“I think this is a pretty early time to see how that worked. I think we will still see the effects of the lockdown at this point, ”he told BBC Radio 4 Today.

“For me this is a very early review phase. I can't imagine there will be big changes at this point just because I don't think we'll have a lot of data collected by then. & # 39;

Yesterday's decision left almost all of England in the top two places. The robust new system will replace the lockdown on December 2nd and is expected to remain through April.

According to figures, only 713,573 people are enrolled in the first stage – that is 1.3 percent of the population. For comparison: 42 percent of England were in the first stage before the month-long lockdown.

Currently, 32.2 million people are in the second tier, which is 57.2 percent of the population. At this level, people are forbidden to come into contact with other households indoors, and pubs can only serve alcohol with a "substantial meal".

Another 23.3 million, 41.5 percent of the population, are in the third tier. At this level, pubs and restaurants can only serve take-away customers, and indoor entertainment such as cinemas, bowling alleys and soft play centers must be closed.

Third tier areas include Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Bristol, the North East, Humberside, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, and Kent.

Despite assurances about the reviews, a Northeast MP said MailOnline Ms. Whately was "monstrous" on a conference call with local politicians yesterday.

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 told the bipartisan group that they "likely" would 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 growing Tory rebellion in Westminster could leave the Prime Minister reliant on Labor Party support to get the action through the Commons next Tuesday.

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee, told the BBC: “I will be voting against. I have serious reservations on so many different levels. I think politics was way too authoritarian. & # 39;

Former Ministers Liam Fox and John Penrose slammed the "illogical decision" to place their Somerset constituencies in the third tier because of their proximity to Bristol.

Why do WE pay the price? There is a lot of ado about something as Stratford-upon-Avon – with few cases and low infection rates – is placed in Tier Three

By CLAIRE DUFFIN for the Daily Mail

It's a winter of discontent in Shakespeare's birthplace after Stratford-upon-Avon found Tier 3 despite low infection rates.

Pubs and restaurants in the historic market town were busy putting up Christmas decorations and taking bookings when they got the bad news.

Though the city of Warwickshire's already low rates continue to decline, it has teamed up with the rest of the county. However, cities in nearby Oxfordshire and Worcestershire with higher rates belong to the second tier.

Marcos Torres, co-owner of three restaurants in Stratford, said he was "drained and disappointed". He and business partner Nigel Lambert were fully booked from next week – when they had expected a reopening. You have spent thousands on deep cleaning, plastic dividers, and other Covid measures.

It's a winter of discontent in Shakespeare's birthplace after Stratford-upon-Avon found Tier 3 despite low infection rates. Pubs and restaurants in the historic market town were busy putting up Christmas decorations and taking bookings when they got the bad news. (Above the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford)

It's a winter of discontent in Shakespeare's birthplace after Stratford-upon-Avon found Tier 3 despite low infection rates. Pubs and restaurants in the historic market town were busy putting up Christmas decorations and taking bookings when they got the bad news. (Above the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford)

Marcos Torres, co-owner of three restaurants in Stratford, said he was "drained and disappointed". He and business partner Nigel Lambert were fully booked from next week when they expected a reopening. (Abpve. Mr. Torres & # 39; Pub, the winemaker)

Mr Torres (above) and Mr Lambert have spent thousands on deep cleaning, plastic dividers and other Covid measures

Marcos Torres (right), co-owner of three restaurants in Stratford, said he was "emptied and disappointed". He and business partner Nigel Lambert were fully booked from next week – when they had expected a reopening. You have spent thousands on deep cleaning, plastic dividers, and other Covid measures. (Left, Mr. Torres & # 39; pub, the winemaker)

"We were previously in Tier 1 and the cases are still very low. It was a huge shock to find out we were in Tier 3," he said. & # 39; It's really nonsensical. A big blow, not just for us, but for the whole of Stratford-upon-Avon. People are really upset and angry. & # 39;

Stratford has an infection rate of 105.3 per 100,000. Among those over 60, the rate is even lower at 74 per 100,000, while the hospitalization rate is also low, with fewer than two people being admitted per day.

The city recorded 137 new cases in the week ended November 22 – a decrease from 67.

At the local level, there were only four cases in the Stratford South East and Torrington areas – a rate of 48.2 per 100,000. However, nearby Redditch in Worcestershire at a rate of 240 cases per 100,000 is in the second tier.

Co-owner of Lambs, The Opposition and The Vintner, Mr Torres, said they could only hope to get into the second tier if they are reviewed in two weeks.

The Royal Shakespeare Company had planned to resume performances next month, welcoming the audience for the first time since March. It had sold all of its tickets but also had to postpone its plans and just do production online.

Stratford MP and Economy Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “I understand the concern of a large number of constituents as to why the restrictions in Stratford-upon-Avon are influenced by factors in areas further from us than from our immediate neighbors such as Worcestershire and Oxfordshire, both of which will move into the second stage next week. & # 39;

Nick Rowberry, owner of The Boathouse in Stratford, had organized staff rotas and started printing new menus.

"Tier three was really the worst scenario," he said. & # 39; We were absolutely disappointed. We just stopped work and started contacting all customers who had booked. It's a joke – the infection rate is very low here. We spent a lot of money making sure we were Covid safe and we haven't had any cases here.

“What they base it on is quite flawed. A well run restaurant or pub is much safer than a supermarket. & # 39;

A decision unsuitable for a queen

Hever in Kent was in the first stage before the land was blocked. But despite fewer than three cases in the last week, it will reappear in Tier Three. Duncan Leslie, executive director of Hever Castle (above), Anne Boleyn's children's home, said the decision is particularly annoying when infection rates are higher in neighboring Surrey and Sussex villages that are in Tier 2

Hever in Kent was in the first stage before the land was blocked. But despite fewer than three cases in the last week, it will reappear in Tier Three. Duncan Leslie, executive director of Hever Castle (above), Anne Boleyn's childhood home, said the decision was particularly "annoying" when infection rates are higher in neighboring Surrey and Sussex villages that are in Tier 2

Hever in Kent was in the first stage before the land was blocked. But despite fewer than three cases in the last week, it will reappear in Tier Three.

Laura Palmer of the Hever Residents' Association said the decision was a blow to a village so small that there are no shops or sidewalks for residents to infect one another with the virus.

Duncan Leslie, executive director of Hever Castle, Anne Boleyn's childhood home, said the decision was especially annoying when infection rates were higher in neighboring Surrey and Sussex villages, which are in Tier 2.

51-year-old Leslie warned the castle pictured – a huge tourist attraction that employs many villagers – is set to suffer a seven-figure loss this year.

Meanwhile, King Henry VIII pub landlord David Brant said, "All you can do is plan it's tier one or two. If it's tier three, it's awful because you're planning the best-case scenario . "

Mr Brant, 40, added that his diary was "rammed" with Christmas bookings that should now be canceled.

Great Torrington residents (above) who have faithfully complied with two national bans are in Tier Two. This means friends cannot meet inside and the pubs must remain closed unless they are serving meals

Great Torrington residents (above) who have faithfully complied with two national bans are in Tier Two. This means friends cannot meet inside and the pubs must remain closed unless they are serving meals

Tarka the otter town dead in the water

Great Torrington isn't just the setting for the kids' classic Tarka the Otter. The market town of North Devon has also been hailed as the healthiest place in Britain.

A study last year praised the low pollution and good access to NHS services. Much has changed since then, of course – but the Great Torrington pictured is still relatively healthy.

For most of this year, there have been fewer than three cases of coronavirus there each week. That number rose to six in the second week of November and fell to five in the third week, a rate of only 83 infections per 100,000.

Despite these encouraging numbers, residents who have faithfully adhered to two national bans are in the second tier. This means friends cannot meet inside and the pubs must remain closed unless they are serving meals.

Waitress Keeley Allin fears for her job at the Market Cafe. “We are not allowed to supply mixed households indoors. Much of our trading is based on it. We'll be open next week but we really have no idea how many customers we'll be getting. & # 39; The 24-year-old, who also happens to be the city's mayor, warned that the pubs would suffer the most. "Some will stay closed and you wonder if they will ever open again … it's very sad."

Brian and Vicky Conrad, who opened their own guitar store three months ago, fear the second tier status will deter customers from traveling downtown.

"All the while we haven't earned anything," said Mr. Conrad. "Big online retailers have picked everything up and I'm afraid this final blow will destroy us."

Conrad, 51, decided to try selling guitars after the pandemic abruptly ended his IT consultancy career in March. "We received a reasonable grant from the government," he said. & # 39; It got us through our best trading period. But we are now suffering the consequences because the government did not react properly at all. & # 39;

Ms. Conrad, 49, said: “It's just so sad. We felt we did everything right and were trying to find a new way to make a living. Now we're dead in the water. & # 39;

The market town of Bourne had lived under relative freedom from tier-one restrictions prior to the second lockdown

The market town of Bourne had lived under relative freedom from tier-one restrictions prior to the second lockdown

The Bourne absurdity

The market town of Bourne had lived under relative freedom from tier-one restrictions prior to the second lockdown.

In the population of around 14,000, there were only 21 new coronavirus cases last week.

But business owners and councilors in the city of Lincolnshire were appalled at the news that they would be moving into the third stage next month.

The area pictured above is known for its natural springs and agriculture. It faces the same measures as the rest of the district, which has high case numbers in the north.

However, Bourne locals point out that they are just a few miles from Peterborough, where the infection rates are higher per 100,000, but they will be in tier two if the country escapes lockdown.

Councilor Brenda Johnson said, "Bourne is going to suffer, it's absolutely insane."

The end of Lockdown 2.0 next week should have been cause for celebration. But any sense of relief will be gone with the advent of the new localized plane system, says Sir Graham Brady

The end of Lockdown 2.0 next week should have been cause for celebration. But any sense of relief will be gone with the advent of the new localized plane system, says Sir Graham Brady

SIR GRAHAM BRADY: This is destroying Britain … I'll vote AGAINST the new animal system

Comment by SIR GRAHAM BRADY for the Daily Mail

The end of Lockdown 2.0 next week should have been cause for celebration. But any sense of relief will be gone with the advent of the new localized system of planes.

In practice, the new regime is just as tenacious as the lockdown, leaving 99 percent of the population under arbitrary state control.

These limitations are full of contradictions and not supported by convincing scientific evidence. They will cause immense further damage to the economy, cripple our civil liberties, and deteriorate the health of the nation. In short, they threaten to destroy the social fabric of Britain.

That is why I will vote against its implementation when Parliament decides on the subject on Tuesday. I will do this with regret as I know the government is facing agonizing decisions in dealing with Covid-19. There are no easy choices to make in this crisis and the cabinet has faced an unprecedented challenge. Even so, like many of my conservative colleagues, I cannot support this policy, which I fear will do more harm than good.

First of all, it is a continuation of the authoritarian attack on fundamental human rights that we in Britain have taken for granted for centuries.

In the name of public health, essential freedoms are being drastically undermined and the authorities are now telling us who to socialize and even have sex with. If someone had predicted last year that a bureaucratic edict could prevent grandmas from hugging their grandchildren in December 2020, such a claim would have been greeted with ridicule.

But that's exactly what happened in Covid-scarred Britain.

Like the citizens of the former Soviet bloc, we find that our freedoms to travel abroad and even move within our own country have been drastically restricted.

Our longstanding British tradition has always been for people to tell the state what to do. But now that relationship is completely reversed and the public is fully accountable to the state. The government's response to the coronavirus has severely undermined common sense. Belief in the judgment of the citizens has been replaced by endless coercion and instruction from the authorities.

In parts of the north of England and the Midlands, residents had to put up with some kind of lockdown for at least eight months – apart from a brief relief in July.

Now, after a month of national restrictions sold to us as a necessary solution, they are in the same, if not worse, position than they were in early November. The problem is that the mechanics of the levels are dubious. They were built on a broad counties rather than boroughs basis, which resulted in obvious inconsistencies.

My own constituency, Altrincham and Sale West, is a classic example of this lack of flexibility.

Although our infection rate is well below the English average, we were placed in the third tier because we are thrown together with Greater Manchester.

If we had been part of Cheshire – as Altrincham historically was until the 1970s – we would have been in Tier Two. What makes our classification even more absurd is that infection rates in Greater Manchester are actually dropping dramatically.

Indeed, there is a definite lack of data to justify these levels, and the same story of geographical illogic is found across the country.

Despite all claims to be following the science, there has been a worrying lack of hard evidence of much government action during the Covid crisis.

After all, it says little about the effectiveness of the current lockdown that 61 percent of the UK population – 34.1 million people – will emerge from it at a higher level than before.

Furthermore, the plethora of rules often seem dangerously counterproductive. Tier 3 has a general ban on opening bars, cafes, restaurants and pubs for anything but take-away – even though the owners may have spent a fortune making such places Covid-proof. As a result, people mingle in environments where the virus is much easier to spread, such as in people's homes. B. in private homes.

In fact, there seems to be little reason for how the hospitality industry was chosen for punishment, given that pubs and restaurants only account for 2 percent of Covid transmissions.

At a time when unemployment, sovereign debt and corporate failure are skyrocketing – as Chancellor Rishi Sunak detailed in his spending review statement this week – these new levels will only further increase the state's finances and hopes for further recovery To draw pity.

And that doesn't mean anything about the nation's mental health stretched to the rupture by the depressing cycle of lockdown and oppression.

Yes, the fight against Covid is an epic fight and we all have to take responsibility to protect ourselves and others. But that's not how we should live in a once open, prosperous democracy.

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