London and Liverpool have been inducted into Tier 2 of Boris Johnson's new coronavirus lockdown regime – but Manchester, Hull, Newcastle, Birmingham and Wolverhampton must step into Tier 3.
The decision to save capital from the most brutal of restrictions will be a relief for many in the hospitality industry that can be reopened to some extent once the current national lockdown ends on December 2nd.
But the Prime Minister has decided to put Tier 3 on huge parts of the country, including five major cities and all of Kent – throwing a wrecking ball through pubs, restaurants and clubs that are now being closed.
Apart from five days over Christmas, millions of people will be banned from indoor contact with other households.
Coronavirus cases are rapidly declining in more than two-thirds of London's boroughs – and appear to be stalling in the rest. Liverpool have also run after a successful campaign to control their outbreak after mass testing in the city.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock officially revealed the division of territories in the Commons after days of the dispute – but in the midst of shambolic scenes, the government previously hired an online zip code checker live.
While local residents, journalists and MPs struggled to collect the news about the decisions made, the site immediately crashed under the weight of the traffic.
Tier 3 means that millions of people would be banned from mixing indoor and outdoor households, and pubs can only offer take-away service or have to close entirely.
The Prime Minister has placed most of England Tier 2 and Tier 3 despite being told that it is "difficult to justify" cases now falling in every region of the country.
Only Cornwall, Scilly and the Isle of Wight were included in Tier 1, which allows socializing in houses and pubs that are subject to the rule of six.
Coronavirus cases have declined in two-thirds of all London boroughs, and the city will enter Tier 2 from December 2nd
The Prime Minister, who will be holding a press conference tonight, told Conservative MPs last night that the new measures would be "very tough" as most of England should be ranked Tier 2 or 3 despite common cases
The onerous tiered system will run across England from December 3 to the end of March, the Prime Minister said
Government sources said "at least one" of the cities that were in Tier 3 would fall into Tier 2, with most evidence pointing to the city of Merseyside after the infection rate dropped dramatically from 162 per 100,000 from 700 five weeks ago.
The revised Tier 2 restrictions close pubs unless they serve meals and order people not to meet other households indoors.
Greater Manchester, where Labor Mayor Andy Burnham has fought a fierce government battle against severe restrictions, is expected to remain in stage three. This means a ban on the entire hotel industry and encounters with other households except in public spaces.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak insisted that people will "see a difference" when England's national lockdown ends next week. He told Sky News today, “No matter what level you are at, I think people will see a noticeable change.
"That said, things are obviously not normal and I can't pretend next week things will feel like they are before spring."
The Prime Minister, who will hold a press conference tonight, told Conservative MPs last night that the new measures would be "very tough".
But he is ready for massive backlash from his own banks amid the anger that the measures are destroying thousands of companies, restricting themselves to another name, and finger-in-the-air criteria for making decisions.
Ministers have tried to ease tension by emphasizing that the levels will be revised every two weeks, with the first due on December 16. This suggests that restrictions could be eased before the “Christmas bubble” eases on December 23rd.
These graphs show how the infection profile in the UK changed between mid-September (left) and mid-November
Covid-19 cases have fallen in most of the north of England since the lockdown was imposed, but they are increasing in one corner of the southeast. The percentage change is based on comparing the data for the week ended November 15 with the week ended November 8. The government is preparing to reveal its tiered system
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said the virus has been brought back under control in the city and is now ready for Tier 2.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today program this morning that there had been no talk of what level the city would be on but added: "I think the numbers and data warrant that Liverpool is at least on level 2 is. "
When asked if he would encourage other Tier 3 areas to accept the restrictions, Mr. Anderson said, “Yes, absolutely, because it's about saving lives. There is no question that the measures we took in Liverpool saved lives.
WHAT ARE THE NEW ANIMAL RULES?
Level one will be the default and action cannot be more relaxed in any part of England:
- The rule of six and social distancing apply to both indoor and outdoor gatherings.
- Pubs and restaurants may only be opened with table service and a closing time of 11 p.m.
- People from separate households cannot meet inside and the rule of six applies outside;
- Pubs have to close unless they work as restaurants. Alcoholic drinks are served with meals.
Level three will be the toughest level of restrictions and the rules have been tightened to make them stricter than before. All Tier Two rules apply, plus the following:
- Indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas, theaters and bowling alleys must be closed.
- Pubs, restaurants and cafes must be closed except for takeout.
- Shops, hairdressers and salons can remain open;
- Groups of six people are only allowed to meet outdoors.
- Crowds at live events are prohibited.
- People should avoid traveling to or from Tier 3 areas unless it is inevitable.
“National and local governments should take care of that. It protects your people and saves lives. & # 39;
But Greater Manchester Mayor Mr Burnham tweeted, “Places that are tier 3 today are not getting any additional funding for business support than tier 1 or tier 2. Could that possibly be fair? #LevellingDown. & # 39;
A study published yesterday found that the previous Tier One was "clearly inadequate" the last time – only one of the 169 areas previously under these rules saw a decrease in cases.
There is evidence that the only regions at the lowest level may be isolated parts of east England and rural Cumbria and Cornwall where the rule of six continues to apply.
The tiered system will come into effect at the end of the national lockdown on December 2nd – but the measures go further than the previous regime, meaning that the third tier is effectively a transition to full lockdown.
However, areas where progress is being made in slowing the spread of the virus could be moved down a notch before Christmas. The first review of the allocations should take place by December 16.
The most important decisions on the lockdown levels were made last night at a meeting of the Covid O committee chaired by Mr Johnson and Mr Hancock. They will be stamped by the Cabinet before Mr Hancock makes a statement to the Commons.
It comes after Oxford University's foremost academic Carl Heneghan said areas that fall within the strictest Levels 2 and 3 could be in an "entirely different position" next week.
Professor Heneghan, an epidemiologist, said if rates continue to fall, "it will be difficult to justify tighter tiered restrictions".
Instead, there should be clear criteria that determine whether the strictest measures are taken in the areas.
He insisted: "By December 2nd we will be in a completely different position than we are now. Therefore we have to be much more flexible and reactive and set clear criteria."
He told MailOnline, "There's no point telling people," Here you are now (in terms of Covid) and you will be in that category next week. "
“We should explain to people the two important criteria that should decide which areas fall into which levels – symptomatic cases and hospital rates.
A shopper walks through the Burlington Arcade in central London on Wednesday. The capital is expected to be subject to Tier 2 restrictions. This means that unless they can function as restaurants and people from separate households cannot mingle indoors, all pubs must close
“For example, if Kent is announced to be in Tier 3 and 50 percent of Covid patient hospital beds are occupied, people could be told to adjust that to 30 percent to get out of Tier 3. These are objective criteria. & # 39;
His warning came when the UK recorded its highest daily virus death toll since early May.
Official data showed that 696 deaths were confirmed yesterday. This is the highest since 726 deaths on May 5th.
Speaking to a troubled committee of its MPs last night in 1922, the Prime Minister said, “I see we are making steady progress over the next four months. They will really undermine the virus' ability to harm our populations. & # 39;
The economic forecasts submitted by the Treasury Watchdog, the Office for Budgetary Responsibility, assume that the measures “high to medium” – levels 2 and 3 – will be in force by the middle of next year.
But the prime minister told MPs he disagreed with their "dire prediction," The Telegraph reported, believing vaccines would get Britain out of the swamp beforehand.
Mr. Johnson compared the mass test and vaccination programs to the "steady insertion of graphite rods into a nuclear reactor."
Even so, the Tory backbenches remain seriously annoyed with the tier system.
Jake Berry, of the Tory MPs Northern Research Group, said, “We reiterate our call for a clear path out of the tiering system and to make sure the North doesn't get stuck in a lockdown on Hotel California, where we enter Tier Three but can never go. & # 39;
Health Secretary Matt Hancock will announce the restrictions today following Mr Johnson's final decisions on the Covid Operations Committee.
Mr. Hancock said, “Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of people across the country, we can move out of national lockdown and into more targeted local, graduated restrictions.
“I know this is going to be a particularly difficult time for those of you facing Tier 3 restrictions, but I want to assure you that we will be supporting your areas with mass community testing and additional funding.
"By following the rules together, we can get out of these tough measures."
The Ministry of Health said decisions about levels would be based on a number of factors, including case detection rates in all age groups, and particularly those over 60.
Official data showed that 696 deaths were confirmed yesterday. This is the highest since 726 deaths on May 5th
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Coronavirus (t) Boris Johnson (t) Coronavirus Lockdowns (t) London