Grant Shapps today urged the UK not to use trains for Christmas as they will be "too busy" – while UK ministers meet to work out a plan to simplify coronavirus rules so that family reunions can take place.
An announcement of proposals for easing during the festive season is imminent. Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove will chair a Cobra meeting with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
However, the Minister of Transport has warned that the "restrictions" on the rail network with significant technical work and capacity constraints should mean that people should avoid it whenever possible.
In a round of interviews this morning, Mr Shapps said: "We will ask people to look very carefully at the transport route they are taking and, of course, even to decide whether to travel at all."
News of how to relax restrictions on socializing for a few days – likely Dec 23-27 – was expected today but could come later in the week now as sources say "details need ironing out".
First Scottish Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there could be a "slight and cautious" relaxation of the rules for a few days, while Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething has proposed tough measures to fight the virus before Christmas to "leave room for." the Christmas season "to create.
Mr. Gove will later lead a meeting with the decentralized administrations to get the package over the line.
It comes amid a brewing Tory revolt amid fears that all of England may be "locked down" under a different name even after the blanket squeeze ends on December 2nd.
MPs have warned Boris Johnson that placing parts of the country under draconian Level 2 and 3 restrictions and sparking a harmful new mutiny will be "catastrophic" for corporations.
Ministers insist that they wait for the latest local infection data to decide which brackets to put each area in. The breakdown is due to be released on Thursday.
Older Conservatives, however, say the "mood music" is that most places will be subject to the tougher levels – imposing severe restrictions on bars and restaurants as well as restrictions on household mix.
Grant Shapps (right) urged the British today not to use trains for Christmas because they will be "too busy" when Boris Johnson (left on screen at a press conference on Downing Street last night) tried to come up with a plan Work out simplification of the coronavirus rules So family reunions can take place
Mr Shapp warned that the "limitations" of the rail network with significant engineering work and capacity constraints mean that people should avoid using it whenever possible. In the picture yesterday Waterloo
Mr Johnson is trying to get a Christmas deal with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford to allow people to travel across the UK
An announcement of proposals for easing during the UK Christmas season is imminent. Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove will chair a Cobra meeting with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Mr Johnson confirmed yesterday that the blanket lockdown in England will end as planned next Wednesday, but warned that the coronavirus curbs will have to stay in place until Easter despite more good news on vaccines.
Speaking at a self-isolation press conference on Downing Street, Mr. Johnson said, "It's the time of year to be funny, but it's also the time to be funny, careful, especially with older relatives."
He added, "This is not the time to rip the virus apart for Christmas parties."
Mr Shapps also asked questions about how people can travel to see their families even when restrictions are relaxed.
He told BBC Breakfast: “We need to understand that the (rail) network has limitations, caused for example by the need for some trains to book tickets in advance at this time to avoid overcrowding …
& # 39; It is the reality of the situation we are in; We will try to do whatever we can with the network to do the best we can, but I think it's worth being aware that busy travel times are an issue. & # 39;
He added that he was "in close contact" with the transport leaders of the decentralized governments to prepare Christmas travel plans which he expects to be completed "later this week".
The technical work will be carried out by Network Rail from December 23rd to January 4th.
Sir Desmond also intervened to compare Mr. Johnson to Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan government.
In June 1647, Christmas was abolished by a parliament against excess and soldiers were sent to end services and festivals. Decorations such as holly and ivy were banned and the singing of Christmas carols was banned.
Sir Desmond said: “The last ruler to tell us how to celebrate Christmas or not was Oliver Cromwell. It didn't end well, did it? & # 39;
On the day the UK was advised it would have to remain in lockdown for at least four months, Oxford University confirmed that the cheap, easy-to-store and easy-to-deliver batch has been shown to be "highly effective" in preventing disease.
It could get regulatory approval in just a fortnight and be administered over the next month. The UK has ordered 100 million cans, with nearly 20 million due by Christmas.
Mr Johnson praised the breakthrough, saying that any British at risk could be vaccinated by Easter, which would allow a gradual return to normal by spring. But he also warned against "over-optimism" and said it would be "tough months" before strict restrictions could be relaxed.
He put forward plans for a tougher tier system to replace the December 2nd lockdown, and said onerous rules must stay in place through at least March 31st.
Business leaders said the new system is "purgatory" for companies that have already been hit by two national shutdowns.
Despite opposition from Sadiq Khan and Tory mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, London is likely to be in the third tier, the highest tier, after a surge in cases.
Whitehall sources suggested that very few, mostly rural, areas would belong to the first tier – the only tier at which it is possible to have contact with other households indoors.
Details will be announced on Thursday. The ongoing far-reaching restrictions will face significant opposition from many businesses, particularly hospitality.
Ministers are already prepared for Rishi Sunak to reveal shocking figures on the impact of the pandemic tomorrow. A finance ministry source said the forecasts in the Chancellor's comprehensive spending review were "really, very bad."
Leaders in the North West were there last night and claimed the infection rate was much lower there than in London and the South East.
They warned that there had to be consistency and that the government should come to the negotiating table to support some of the poorest parts of the country.
Ugly disputes tainted the previous tiered system when Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham cursed Downing Street.
The onerous tiered system announced by the Prime Minister will remain in place through March 31
The dosage of ERROR by researchers in AstraZeneca-Oxford University's vaccine study increased the success rate to 90%, said the company's vice president
A dosing error by researchers at the University of AstraZeneca-Oxford's vaccine trial resulted in a huge increase in the success rate of the sting, according to the company's vice president.
Mene Pangalos, Head of Non-Oncology Research and Development at AstraZeneca said, "The reason we got half the dose is coincidence."
Volunteers in the UK were expected to receive two full doses of the vaccine as it was tested in hopes of funding a cure.
Dr. Pangalos says the research was stumped when it noticed volunteers reported much milder side effects, such as fatigue, headaches, and arm pain, than originally predicted.
He said, "So we went back and checked … and found that they underestimated the dose of the vaccine by half."
The post-lockdown system was set out yesterday in a 56-page “Covid Winter Plan”, in which the three levels are described.
The new rules apply at least until March 31 – more than a year after the first ban began.
Although last month's "stay home message" is being removed, people are being told to minimize travel and work from home until April as much as possible.
Business leaders welcomed the decision to allow stores to reopen before Christmas. Gyms, hairdressers and beauty salons are also allowed to trade on all three levels, and popular sports can be resumed.
But there has been misery for the hospitality industry, which faces crippling restrictions during the vital Christmas season and beyond. Before the lockdown, around half of the country was in the first stage. But the Prime Minister said there will be "many more places at higher levels" this time.
Mixing indoors is prohibited from level 2, including in pubs and restaurants. In tier 2, restaurants are only allowed to serve alcohol with a “substantial meal”.
In tier 3, pubs and restaurants are only allowed to offer take-away meals. Indoor entertainment, including cinemas, bowling alleys, and soft play centers, must close.
Emma McClarkin, executive director of the British Beer & Pub Association, said the new measures would "destroy our sector".
Jonathan Neame, executive director of the Shepherd Neame Pub Group, said the measures would be "devastating".
He added, “It's absolutely rotten for them to highlight hospitality in this way. It makes me sick. & # 39; Acting CBI chief Josh Hardie said, “Positive news about vaccines offers a ray of light for 2021.
"But the next few weeks and months will feel like purgatory for many – stuck between a national ban and a new normal." The prime minister said he was very sorry for the economic hardship caused but insisted it was inevitable as a third wave of coronavirus must be prevented.
He praised the breakthrough in Oxford and told a press conference on Downing Street: "We can hear the drum hooves of the cavalry coming over the forehead of the hill."
The areas most at risk of being classified as Tier 3: East Sussex, Herefordshire and Milton Keynes were among the ten authorities in England that saw the greatest increases in Covid infection rates
East Sussex, Herefordshire and Milton Keynes were the local authorities in England to see the biggest spikes in coronavirus cases over the past week, official data has revealed.
Statistics from Public Health England show that infection rates – the number of new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people – rose by at least 50 percent in all three areas in the seven-day period ending November 15. Kent, parts of Essex and London were also hit hard.
The largest increases were seen in areas that were only subject to Tier 1 or Tier 2 rules under the local system, while the areas that saw the most decreases were almost all of the Tier 3 areas in the northwest , led by Warrington, Oldham, Wigan and Blackburn who suffered large numbers of infections during England's second wave.
Boris Johnson confirmed last night that the country's second draconian lockdown will end on December 2nd. No10 chose to revert to a revised three tier system that may need to stay in place until at least March 31 – more than a year after the initial lockdown began.
Ministers are waiting for the most recent data to decide which brackets to put each agency. The breakdown is due to be released on Thursday. Policy makers analyze infection rates, test the positivity and the speed of the outbreak growth to decide on action.
The hardest hit areas, including Hull and the Northwest, are expected to fall under the toughest Level Three, which will require restaurants and pubs to close – unless they have takeaways.
The debate over which bracket London should be in is raging. The capital's mayor, Sadiq Khan, predicts the city will face Tier 2 – which prohibits indoor mixing with other households. But high-ranking Tories, including Sir Iain Duncan Smith, last night called for the city, the beating heart of Britain's economy, to be placed under the first tier.
The mayors of the north have spoken out against plans to raise them to higher levels. Andy Burnham of Greater Manchester said they could cause "widespread business failure" in the region. MPs have warned T2 and T3 that they will be "catastrophic" for businesses and will spark a harmful new mutiny.
Whitehall sources told the Daily Mail that very few areas would be granted tier-one restrictions, with only the rural areas – like Cornwall and South Oxfordshire – likely to have the easiest rules.
Commuters packed onto a London Underground on October 26 as the capital's millions continue to work amid the pandemic
Which local authorities have the highest Covid-19 infection rate?
* Infection rate
The above data is based on the Public Health England surveillance report for the seven day period ending November 15th, for which data are available at the latest.
This is less than two weeks after the lockdown was imposed in England, which means the effects of the lockdown won't show as it takes up to two weeks for someone infected with the virus to show symptoms and then test positive .
* Infection rates are given as Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people.
The Prime Minister warned last night: "We expect more regions to fall to higher levels, at least in time, but by using those tougher levels and using rapid turnaround tests on an ever larger scale to bring R below one."
However, he added that the tightened tiers should allow local authorities to "lower the staggering to lower limits" when cases start to decline.
The previous system was heavily criticized because areas were classified in the third tier and then apparently had no way out of the curbs.
Politicians and local leaders are gathering today to pose significant challenges to the restrictions.
In the capital, Tory heavyweight Sir Ian told the Telegraph that it would need to be placed in Tier 1 in order to revive the country.
"London is dominant in the economy and we need it to get back to work immediately," he said.
Another London MP told the Guardian that they are "heavily lobbying" for the reopening of pubs, bars and restaurants in the capital.
Sadiq Khan told LBC yesterday, "It's a little early to say but based on the numbers I've seen representing a slowdown in the spread of the virus, there is a decline in parts of London in some districts."
"What I hope is … London would probably be in what is called the second stage."
None of the London boroughs has a Covid-19 infection rate of less than 100 cases per 100,000 people. This is based on figures from Public Health England covering the seven-day period ending November 15, the last date for which data are available.
But infection rates rose in 20 of the 32 counties last week, with the biggest jumps in Havering, Enfield and Redbridge.
The highest infection rate is in Havering in the northeast of the city, the only neighborhood where it has risen above 300 per 100,000.
According to the Ministry of Health, the number of patients admitted to hospital in the capital, suffering from Covid-19, remains low with an average of 154.7 admissions on November 17th after seven days. However, this is well below the peak of the first wave when an average of 748 patients were hospitalized with Covid-19 every day.
These levels are also among the lowest in the country, which ministers expect to mean that London can be spared the harshest restrictions on public freedoms.
Which local authorities have the highest rates of increase in Covid-19 infections?
* Infection rate
The above is based on the Public Health England surveillance report for the seven day period ending November 15th, for which data are available at the latest.
This is less than two weeks after the lockdown was imposed in England, which means the tightened curbs are unlikely to have the full effect, as it takes two weeks for someone who is infected to be hospitalized .
* Infection rates are given as Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people.
The mayors in the north of England also refuse to be placed under higher levels again. Sheffield city guide Dan Jarvis warns: "We are ready to do our part, but we cannot be taken for granted."
He added: "Tightened restrictions have had a massive impact on the South Yorkshire economy.
The government said it would return to its agenda after the pandemic, but the brutal reality is we cannot wait that long.
& # 39; The government's spending review on Wednesday will have a golden opportunity to deliver on its promises.
"I have urged ministers to step up investment to give the north the best chance of weathering the storm, making sure businesses survive a tough winter, and giving us the opportunity to move forward with economic recovery and renewal."
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has had a tough time rushing into the toughest of measures.
Mr Burnham said tightened Tier Three "could be devastating to the hospitality industry and hit cities and the city economy very, very hard".
Across England, Swale in Kent has the worst infection rate in the country at 631.7 per 100,000.
The local guides there have spoken of their "frustration" that the residents do not seem to obey restrictions and take simple precautions such as wearing a face mask.
Swale council chairman Roger Truelove said lockdown rules in the community were "deliberately disregarded" as residents routinely did not wear face coverings and ignored social distancing.
An Emergency Council meeting was held yesterday to discuss why the virus has grown so rapidly in the district, home to around 150,000 people and which includes Sheppey Island.
The latest analysis of PHE numbers by the Press Association news agency found that Covid-19 case rates began to decline in most regions of England in the last week through November 15.
Only two regions out of nine – London and the South East – are still seeing weekly increases in some cases. However, the full impact of England's second national lockdown is not yet apparent in the data.
It takes up to two weeks for someone infected with the virus to show symptoms, get tested, and get a positive result. This means that many currently reported infections may have emerged before immediate action was taken.
However, the latest numbers suggest that the numbers are going in the right direction, if not in all parts of England.
The statewide restrictions began on November 5th and the most recent numbers are for the week ending November 15th – just 14 days after the lockdown.
Two weeks ago, the average infection rates were lower than they are today – but the worst-hit London boroughs are still outside the top 100 of the 317 authorities in England, according to the Department of Health
Daily Covid-19 hospitalization rates across England
Northeast & Yorks
East of England
These data are based on the latest figures from the Ministry of Health. Daily admissions are the 7-day average of admissions through November 17th. The percentage change is based on the difference between the average on November 17th and November 10th.
Flares of infection were recorded in 34 of 67 communities in the southeast, with Medway recording the largest jump.
Medway in Kent saw the sixth largest increase in infections in the country, rising 39.3 percent to 299 per 100,000.
However, the biggest week-to-week declines have been seen in the northwest – a sign that previous actions have helped clear cases alongside the lockdown.
Warrington saw the biggest drop in England, where infections fell 32.5 percent to 259.6 per 100,000.
It was followed by Oldham in Greater Manchester, where infections fell 30.7 percent to 519.2 per 100,000.
And Wigan saw the third largest drop, down 30.3 percent to 403.2 per 100,000.
When the tiered system returns on December 3, they will be checked every two weeks to see if local authorities need to impose stricter restrictions or can be dropped on lower restrictions.
It should be in effect by March 31st. From this point on, the tiered system ends.
Boris Johnson said last night that he hopes the country can get back to normal "by Easter" and predicted that it could if older and most vulnerable populations received a Covid-19 vaccine.
Three vaccines – including Oxford's vaccine – have stated that they trigger at least 70 percent of an immune response, leading Labor chief Sir Keir Starmer to say the end of the pandemic tunnel was in sight.
Mr Khan (pictured earlier this year) believes his city is going into what is known as Tier 2.
Britain has ordered 100 million cans of the Oxford / AstraZeneca jab. Up to four million are expected to arrive this year. It will also be the first part of a shipment of 40 million doses from Pfizer and BioNtech – who say their vaccine is 90 percent effective – by the end of the year and five million doses from Moderna – with a 94.5 percent effective effect – expected. next spring.
Leaked NHS plans show they could start vaccinating older and most vulnerable people against the virus in early December. In the new year, vaccines will be introduced for the rest of the population.
However, scientists have urged caution, warning that none of the shocks have yet been approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The regulator reviews data on the effectiveness of the vaccine and how safe it is before deciding whether or not to give it nationwide. It's a process that typically takes two years, but under pressure to get life back to normal, the regulator has stated that it is working hard to make a decision quickly.
The Prime Minister detailed his winter strategy yesterday, with a plan to deploy an extensive testing scheme to win the rebels on the conservative back benches.
He told MPs that after the current restrictions expire on December 2nd, non-essential stores at all three levels can be opened, which will benefit retailers.
Mr Johnson also laid the foundation for plans to allow small numbers of households across the UK to mingle over a limited number of days around Christmas.
Official test data shows that coronavirus infection rates are falling in northern England, where they were highest during the peak of the second wave, but remain high in some areas of the West Midlands, Kent, Greater Manchester and Yorkshire (darker colors indicate higher rates positive tests per 100,000 people)
Boris' Plan for Winter in Full: How PM is hoping to get back to normal by Easter with the 56-page Winter Plan that combines vaccines, treatments and tough new lockdowns – WITHOUT crashing the economy
Boris Johnson today released a 56-page winter plan that outlines the coronavirus rules that apply to daily life until the government hopes the draconian curbs can be finally lifted.
The Prime Minister confirmed that the English lockdown will end on December 2nd as planned, and then the nation will return to a tiered system of measures that will be tougher than those that existed before November.
But Mr Johnson was optimistic this afternoon when he said, "For the first time since this pathetic virus started we can see a way out of the pandemic."
Below is a breakdown of the Prime Minister's strategy.
He said "Breakthroughs in treatment, testing and vaccines mean the scientific cavalry is now in sight" and by April next year "these advances should reduce the need for the restrictions we saw in 2020".
Mr Johnson said advances in technology would "obviate the entire concept of a Covid lockdown" as he urged the nation to stick to its winter plan and endure the "long road to spring."
Scroll down for a full question and answer on what you can and can't do under the new rules
The three main goals of the government
Mr Johnson's winter plan aims to achieve three main goals.
The first is to bring the R transmission rate of the disease below the critical number one and keep it there permanently.
For example, an R-number of three would mean that each infected person would infect an additional three people, causing the virus to grow exponentially.
Boris Johnson today unveiled his winter plan that will guide the UK coronavirus response for the coming months until hopes of escaping the curbs this spring
Shoppers walk past a Christmas window in a shop on Oxford Street in London on November 23rd after it was revealed that retail stores would be allowed to reopen after December 2nd
Can i go to the pub? Will there be a curfew? Are gyms allowed to open? Your questions were answered when Boris Johnson revealed his post-lockdown plan for England
Will the lockdown end next week?
Yes. Boris Johnson confirmed today that the lockdown will end on December 2nd – next Wednesday – and is expected to come into effect that day at 12:01 a.m.
What replaces the lock?
The lockdown will be replaced by a system of regional restrictions in three stages, which is expected to last until the end of March 2021.
Can you see friends outdoors again?
Yes. The prime minister said that starting next Wednesday, everyone will be allowed to leave their homes for any purpose and meet others in open public spaces, subject to the rule of six.
What else will come back?
Collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume, the prime minister said without giving further details.
He added that personal care, gyms and the entire recreational sector can all be reopened.
Are nail salons and hairdressers allowed to open?
Yes, nail salons and hairdressers are allowed to reopen and fall under the “body care” category.
Can't essential stores be opened on all three levels?
Yes. Mr. Johnson has confirmed that all stores can reopen regardless of what level their area is on. This is a big boost for retailers during the holiday season.
Can I go to church again – and are weddings back?
Yes, services can be resumed – as can weddings. Further details will be announced.
Can I take part in sporting events?
Yes, with restrictions. Mr Johnson said that level one and level two spectator sports will be free to resume indoors and outdoors with capacity constraints and social distancing "to be more consistent with indoor performances in theaters and concert halls."
Although Mr. Johnson didn't go into the details, the government will allow the smaller 4,000 spectators – or 50 percent of the capacity of a stadium – for outdoor events in Tier 1 areas. For indoor events of the first level, a maximum of 2,000 or 50 percent of the capacity is permitted.
In areas of the second level, each of these numbers is halved. For outdoor events in tier 2, a maximum of 2,000 spectators – or 50 percent of the capacity, whichever is lower – are permitted. For indoor events, the lower number of either 1,000 fans – or 50 percent of normal capacity – is permitted.
However, areas that fall directly into the third tier must still adhere to a ban on participation in sporting events for all fans.
W.What is the? Funds for working from home?
Mr Johnson said people in the first tier should work from home wherever possible. This differs from the more relaxed regulation under level 1 before locking.
Can second tier pubs remain open?
Yes, with new restrictions. Alcohol can now only be served as part of an “extensive meal” in the hospitality industry.
This is unlike before when all tier 2 pubs were allowed to stay open, regardless of whether they were serving food or not.
Can third tier pubs remain open?
No, except for takeaways. Mr. Johnson has ordered the closure of indoor entertainment, hotels, and all forms of hospitality, with the exception of supplies and takeaways.
This is unlike before when third tier pubs could be opened, but only when alcohol was served as part of a "large meal".
Will the curfew at 10 p.m. be relaxed?
Yes, Mr Johnson came up with a plan so that while last orders have to be placed by 10pm, people have an extra hour to finish their food and drinks. The opening times must be extended to 11 p.m.
When will you know what tier your area will be upgraded to?
This Thursday, ministers will announce what stage each area will enter, based on a scientific analysis of the local prevalence of Covid-19.
Will the rules within the levels vary between areas?
No, said the Prime Minister, the levels will now be a single set of rules. There will be no negotiations on additional measures between the individual regions.
Is my area still in the same tier as before?
Not necessarily. More areas are expected to enter the upper end of the tiered system over the next month, the prime minister said.
Can I see my family for Christmas?
Possibly. Mr Johnson has laid the foundation for plans to allow small numbers of households across the UK to mingle over a limited number of days around Christmas.
He has not yet released the details and said families need to make "careful judgment" about visiting elderly relatives for Christmas.
The Prime Minister told MPs: "This virus will obviously not grant a ceasefire for Christmas, it does not know that it is Christmas, and families need to carefully assess the risk of visiting elderly relatives.
"We will be issuing guidance for those who are clinically highly susceptible to managing the risks at any stage and over Christmas."
Can I see my family for Christmas if they are not in England?
Mr Johnson said the government was working on a limited-time Christmas season with the decentralized administrations.
He told the Commons, “I cannot say that Christmas will be normal this year, but in a time of need, time spent with loved ones is more precious to people of all faiths and none.
“We all want some kind of Christmas, we need it, we feel we deserve it. What we don't want, however, is to exercise caution and let the virus flare up again, which will force us all back into lockdown in January.
"So that families can come together while minimizing the risk, we are working with the decentralized administrations on a special limited-time Christmas season that will span the entire UK."
How are rapid tests introduced – and who will get them first?
Mr Johnson said rapid tests will be done by the end of the year so each nursing home resident can have two visitors who can be tested twice a week.
He also told MPs: “Nurses caring for people within their own four walls will be offered weekly tests starting today. Starting next month, weekly testing will be available to staff in prisons, food manufacturing, and those who deliver and administer Covid vaccines. & # 39;
Mr Johnson said tests will allow students to "go home safely for Christmas" and return to university.
What happens to the test system?
Mr Johnson said daily tests will also be used as part of attempts to end automatic isolation for close contacts of those who tested positive for Covid-19.
If you kept the number below one, one infected person would infect less than another person on average. This in turn would lead to a decrease in the number of new infections.
The second goal is to find and introduce new and more effective methods of treating coronaviruses so that life can be "normal" again.
This includes using vaccines, implementing new medical treatments, and improving the NHS test and trace program.
The third goal is to keep damage to the economy and society as well as to jobs and livelihoods as low as possible.
Way back to normal: vaccines
Probably the most important piece of the puzzle to get life back to normal is developing and introducing a working coronavirus vaccine.
Mr Johnson's winter plan says vaccines that "provide lasting and effective immunity to COVID-19 can significantly lower the death rate of the virus and limit its transmission".
A working coronavirus bite should therefore allow ministers to relax restrictions as the spread of infections, especially to people in the most vulnerable groups in society, should be greatly reduced.
The government has signed contracts with seven different vaccine developers and secured access to more than 350 million doses by the end of next year.
The introduction of the vaccines will be entirely dependent on their regulatory approval, and the government has insisted that "the public will always come first".
"A COVID-19 vaccine will only be approved for use if it meets strict standards for safety, effectiveness and quality through clinical studies," says the winter plan.
However, ministers are confident that at least some of the vaccines will clear the regulatory hurdle in the coming months.
It will then be a question of not only using them, but also determining how long it will take for them to take effect and how long the immunity can last.
The introduction of vaccination will be the largest health project ever undertaken by a modern UK government, and a lot will be at stake to make it go well.
Way back to normal: treatments
The ability to treat patients with Covid-19 will be vital both before and during the launch of vaccines, as thousands of infections are likely to continue to emerge despite the new restrictions.
Effective treatments are critical to fighting the virus, especially for people who cannot be vaccinated, such as those who are immunocompromised.
The winter plan states, "Finding effective treatments will reduce the risk of life and serious illness for people who contract the virus and help them return to normal life."
Results are expected in the coming months for a variety of drugs and treatments that could help people fight the disease and recover.
Back to normal: testing
If vaccines are the single most important piece of the puzzle to getting life back to normal, improved testing is barely a second.
The government's approach to coronavirus testing has so far focused on symptomatic testing.
However, ministers hope that a massive expansion of testing capacity – notably with the help of rapid tests – will enable them to better localize asymptomatic cases of the disease and prevent people from unwittingly passing it on.
The ability to identify and quarantine people with coronavirus but who are not showing symptoms on a large scale is seen as a potential game changer in the fight against the disease and could have a massive impact on infection rates.
The winter plan reads: “The government plans to introduce frequent testing as an alternative to the need to self-isolate for people who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19.
"Instead, contacts are regularly tested as an alternative to isolation and only need to self-isolate if they test positive."
Local areas ranked in the top tier of restrictions will be given the opportunity to participate in a "six week test ramp" to combat local outbreaks.
Meanwhile, another £ 7 billion will be pumped into NHS Test and Trace, bringing total funding to around £ 22 billion in the current fiscal year.
Control of the Virus: A Return to the Plains
Meet family and friends
The rule of six will return, with variations on whether socializing can be indoors or outdoors depending on your level.
In tier 1 – medium alarm – people can meet in groups of six inside and outside, while in tier 2 – high alarm – being with five others is only allowed outdoors.
In Tier 3, the highest alert level, groups of six can only meet in public outdoor areas such as parks and sports fields – but not in private gardens.
Pubs, bars and restaurants
Hospitality is closed except for take out in areas with Tier 3 restrictions, but the rules for Levels 1 and 2 are a little more relaxed.
In Tier 2, hospitality must be closed unless it is run as a restaurant and alcohol can only be served with a substantial meal.
In tier 1, venues may only be table service. The 10:00 p.m. curfew will be replaced with a final order call at 10:00 p.m. and the venues must close at 11:00 p.m. for Tier 1 and 2.
It is to be hoped that the change in the curfew will prevent the old rules rush to the exit and result in a staggered departure of customers from the venues.
Shops, entertainment and hairdressers
In each category, retail and personal care businesses such as hairdressers and beauty salons are allowed to reopen.
Indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas, theaters, bowling alleys and casinos may remain open in levels 1 and 2, but not in level 3.
The return of unnecessary stores is welcomed by corporate groups as it marks the start of the critical holiday season for many retailers.
Weddings, funerals and worship
Weddings and civil partnerships can resume with only 15 guests, although wedding receptions are prohibited in Tier 3.
30 people are allowed to attend funerals, but only 15 people can attend a wake.
Places of worship can be reopened for collective worship at any level, but at levels 2 and 3, people are not allowed to interact with anyone outside their household or support bubble.
Gyms and exercise
Gyms and swimming pools can be reopened on all levels.
In Tier 1, classes and organized adult sports can take place outdoors, but must follow the rule of six indoors.
Indoor courses and organized adult sports cannot take place in tier 2 or 3 if there is interaction with different households.
Tier 3 allows classes and organized adult sports to take place outdoors. However, it is recommended to avoid higher risk contact activities.
Tier 1 tells people to walk or ride bikes wherever they can and avoid traveling to Tier 3 areas unless such travel is required for work or for training.
In Tier 2 areas, people are asked to reduce the number of trips they make as much as possible and to avoid trips to Tier 3 areas other than for work or education.
In Tier 3, people are asked to avoid leaving the area unless necessary for work or training. They are also asked to reduce the number of trips they make if possible.
One of the three main government goals for the coming months is to keep the R infection rate below one and keep it there
Official estimates show that the R transmission rate varies significantly in different parts of the country
To work from home
During the worst months of the pandemic, the government urged people to work from home wherever they could before encouraging people to return to the office in the summer.
The guidelines were changed again in September to stay at home and the winter plan adheres to that approach.
The blueprint states that "Working from home can have a significant impact on reducing transmission if everyone who can work from home does so".
Ministers are now encouraging all employers to "allow higher levels of home work", with the government insisting that "anyone who can work from home should".
Top sport and live performances
Large events – such as theater and spectator sports – are permitted in levels 1 and 2, but with capacity reductions.
They are still blocked in Tier 3, but drive-in events are permitted.
Tier 1 limits audience numbers to 50 percent of capacity or 4,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors, whichever is lower.
Tier 2 sets audience numbers at 50 percent capacity or 2,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors, whichever is lower.
Returning to a tiered approach will not change the ground rules that the government relied on for much of the pandemic.
That means ministers are still urging people to wear face masks indoors, maintain social distance, and self-isolate if infection is suspected or confirmed.
The winter plan states that "normalizing these behaviors has undoubtedly had an impact in reducing the spread of the virus" and continued adherence to these behaviors through winter will remain equally critical.
The government is sticking to its basic advice of telling people to keep social distance and wear face coverings indoors
The government is currently working with the decentralized administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to agree on a single set of rules for the festive season.
The plans are expected to include a slight relaxation of restrictions to allow families to meet for a certain number of days.
The plans are yet to be finalized, but a formal announcement is expected later this week.
Mr Johnson said Christmas was not "normal" this year, but recognized that "spending time with loved ones at a time of need for people of all faiths and none" is even more precious.
Protecting the NHS and the vulnerable
During the lockdown across England, people at extreme clinical risk were told to take "extra precautions" and stay home "as much as possible".
The end of the lockdown means the end of guidance for those individuals not going to work or school.
Instead, the government will reintroduce counseling for people at extreme clinical risk, depending on the animal area they live in.
As for social welfare, the government plans to take steps to prevent caregivers from inadvertently transmitting the virus by moving it between locations.
By the end of the year, ministers are putting forward legislation requiring all care home providers to restrict “non-essential movements of staff between facilities”.
In the meantime, the NHS will receive additional support of £ 205 million for the winter period, including £ 80 million to further develop recruitment programs.
The money comes on top of the previously announced £ 1 billion to help the NHS get behind in electoral operations.
Ministers hope the lockdown will result in a decline in inpatients at the coronavirus hospital across England in the coming weeks
The graphic above shows how the second wave of infections struck Great Britain compared to other European countries
Keeping education and the economy alive
The government's vacation program has already been extended to March next year as Chancellor Rishi Sunak tries to avoid a wave of layoffs in the winter months.
A self-employed income support system will remain in place until April, while the government's three main coronavirus business loan systems will remain open until the end of January next year.
The government has already spent more than £ 200 billion in support of the UK SPS and that bill is likely to grow in the coming months.
In terms of education, it remains the government's priority to ensure that schools, colleges and universities remain open.
The winter plan says: "In England, the policy is that educational institutions remain open at all levels."
Ministers have promised that all schools and colleges will have access to coronavirus tests so staff and students can be screened to see if they cannot access tests any other way.
Every university in England was given access to rapid asymptomatic testing.
It remains the government's plan to hold exams in England next summer.
Purgatory to Easter: London could be stuck in the toughest phase as the prime minister unveils a new system to stave off a surge in winter coronavirus
By Jason Groves, Political Editor for The Daily Mail
England faces Covid restrictions for at least four more months, Boris Johnson said last night, fearing London could be classified in the new toughest level three.
In warning of a "harsh winter", the prime minister urged the country to steel itself for a "final push for spring" – if vaccine and testing developments "should" lessen the need for the restrictions we saw in 2020 ". .
He confirmed that the month-long second lockdown ends on December 2nd.
But Mr Johnson told MPs that it would be replaced in England with a "harder" system of graduated restrictions than last month. And it will last until March 31 – just before Easter and more than a year after the first lockdown began.
A young woman enjoying a double beer in a Glasgow pub after beer gardens opened in July
Calls for the fourth level are excluded
Posted by Kate Pickles, health correspondent
A fourth level of Covid restrictions called for by scientific advisors has been ruled out, as official documents suggest.
Ministers were advised that the move might be required in areas where the third tier restrictions did not result in cases falling sufficiently.
However, the three-tier system will return when the lockdown ends on December 2nd – albeit with tougher curbs.
Sage's Scientific Advisory Board said Tier 1 measures alone were "not enough to prevent the epidemic from growing rapidly".
At a meeting on November 12, it concluded that some models had a small 10 percent decrease in reproductive number – the R-value – when transitioning from Tier 1 to Tier.
The document added: “This suggests that Tier 2 is the minimum measure required to maintain some level of control over the transmission, although this would not be the case in all locations and there are significant uncertainties. In most cases, switching from Tier 1 to Tier 2 would slow growth rather than reverse it. & # 39;
Wise experts said it was unclear whether Tier 3 restrictions at a regional or national level alone would be enough to bring R below 1.
A Nov 11 statement by the Sage subgroup indicated that a higher tier may be required in severely affected areas.
It read: “There is great uncertainty about the effects of stages, particularly the third stage. Test and trace, including bulk testing, are most effective when the prevalence is low. Even the most effective testing and tracing system has little effect on high case numbers.
“Given that the impact of levels varies depending on the characteristics of the different areas, a tier 4 regime needs to be considered for those parts of the country where tier three cannot reduce the epidemic.
& # 39; This is particularly important in the run-up to the winter festival season, when a relaxation of the measures is being considered. Keeping the incidence flat or reducing it is critical. & # 39;
Whitehall sources warned last night that "very few" areas of England would be classified in Tier One, the only level where indoor socializing is allowed. Sources declined to include London in the third tier after a recent surge in cases.
Downing Street said people on all three levels would be asked to work from home "where possible" until at least April.
And while the formal stay-at-home advice is dropped next week, even those living in Tier 1 areas are being asked to minimize travel. Shops, fitness studios, hairdressers and beauty salons are allowed to reopen on all three levels.
Outdoor sports can also resume next week, and fans are allowed to return to the sports stadiums in limited numbers. But there has been misery for the hospitality industry, which has suffered crippling restrictions for months. In tier 2, pubs and restaurants are only allowed to serve alcohol to those who order a “substantial meal”.
In Tier 3, pubs and restaurants are closed to all but take-out.
The councils are empowered to order the "immediate closure" of businesses that violate the rules. Businesses will also face new fines for failing to promptly follow instructions from the council to implement measures to slow the spread of the virus.
As a sign of long haul, the government expanded the "support bubble" system to include other groups vulnerable to isolation, including families with babies under one year old.
Mr Johnson videolinked to the Commons of his self-isolation at # 10, saying ministers could not allow the virus to "flare up" again until the "scientific cavalry" arrives in the spring.
He said breakthroughs in vaccines and testing meant "a way out of the pandemic can be found for the first time since the onset of this pathetic virus".
But he added, "Without sensible precautions, we would risk the virus escalating into a winter or New Year surge." Details of which areas will be placed in which levels will be determined on Thursday.
Shaun Bailey, the Tories mayoral candidate in London, told companies in the capital that tier three was "a disaster".
Tory MPs also warned that the prime minister would face a revolt if parliament were asked to vote on measures next week.
Despite the tougher measures, advisors warned the government that they may not go far enough and that a "tier four" may be required.
The UK retail consortium said reopening stores before Christmas would "help save jobs and the economy". But Kate Nicholls of UK Hospitality trade organization said of the pubs and restaurant restrictions, "They're killing Christmas and beyond for a lot of businesses and their customers."
Gyms, hairdressers and beauty salons are also allowed to trade in all three levels, and popular sports can be resumed (photo in stock).
Regions have no say in the ranking
Communities are not consulted on which Covid level they are placed – and have no right to appeal.
The government will present a map on Thursday indicating which areas will fall under the three new levels of restrictions.
The process that could determine the fate of some companies is overseen by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty.
Downing Street said decisions would be based on five key factors – an analysis of cases across all age groups; the number of cases in people over 60 years of age; the rate at which local cases are increasing or decreasing; the number of positive tests per 100,000 people; and the "current and projected" pressures on the local NHS. However, economic factors are not taken into account in the decision.
And No. 10 did not publish any benchmarks showing which case levels would correspond to each level.
The system is checked every 14 days to see if the regions stay in the correct level.
However, unlike the previous tier system, local communities are not consulted about what restrictions should apply locally.
The decision follows a dispute between ministers and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham last month over tier three for the region.
Downing Street affirmed that communities will have no right of appeal.
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