Last night the debate raged over what tier London should be under Boris Johnson's new system when the lines are redrawn on Thursday.
A rising rate of infection in the capital, bucking the trend for most of England, has increased the possibility that it could fall into the toughest Tier 3 restrictions.
Under the Prime Minister's new system, tier 3 pubs and restaurants can only offer takeout and delivery services while cinemas, bowling alleys and hotels will be closed.
Level 2 residents must follow the rules previously in place at the highest Covid level. This means that pubs can only serve alcohol with a "substantial meal".
Senior Tories, including Sir Ian Duncan Smith, last night called for London – which they claimed was the beating heart of the troubled British economy – to be rated Tier 1.
But Whitehall sources told The Daily Mail that very few areas could be granted the Level 1 restrictions, with only rural areas likely to have the easiest rules.
A shopper walks through an abandoned convent garden in central London on Monday afternoon
Infection rates were increased in 20 of London's 32 regions last week. The biggest jumps were Havering (from 309.4 to 386.0), Enfield (from 175.6 to 230.4) and Redbridge (from 249.0 to 300.4).
Two weeks ago, the average infection rates were largely lower than they are today – but the most affected London districts are still outside the top 100 in the ranking of 317 authorities in England, according to the Department of Health
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he expected level 2 measures to be imposed after December 2.
Tory heavyweight Sir Ian told The Telegraph: "London needs to be ranked Tier 1. London is dominant in the economy and we need it to get back to work right away."
Mr Khan (pictured earlier this year) believes his city is going into what is known as Tier 2.
Another London MP told the Guardian that they are "working hard" to keep hospitality open in the capital.
This is happening despite renewed pressure from regional leaders in the North West, who argue that consistency needs to be maintained across the country as they point to rising infection rates in London and the South East.
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield Metropolitan Area, told The Guardian last night: "We are ready to do our part, but we must not be taken for granted."
Liverpool Labor Mayor Joe Anderson and Andy Burnham of Greater Manchester are again having a hard time plunging themselves into the toughest of measures.
Many leaders in the North West are willing to argue that it is indeed London that deserves the strictest Tier 3 rules.
Infection rates were increased in 20 of London's 32 boroughs last week.
The biggest jumps were Havering (from 309.4 to 386.0), Enfield (from 175.6 to 230.4) and Redbridge (from 249.0 to 300.4).
Kent now has one of the worst infection rates in the country. Swale County has 631.7 cases per 100,000 people.
This district is worse than anywhere else in England and only 50 miles from central London.
Even so, Mr Khan remained optimistic that the data did not suggest Tier 3 measures for his city.
"It's a little early to say, but based on the numbers I've seen, which is slowing the spread of the virus, it's coming down in a couple of districts in parts of London." Mr Khan told LBC.
"What I hope is … London would probably be in what is known as Tier 2."
Commuters will be packed onto a London Underground on October 26 as the capital's millions continue to work amid the pandemic
Despite rising cases, Covid-19 hospital admissions in London are among the lowest in the country, less than a third of those in the northeast and half in the northwest last week.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Fortunately, the NHS in London has done a remarkable job at this second peak and has handled it admirably well despite the pressure."
Mr Johnson will announce on Thursday what levels the regions of England are in.
Levels are reviewed every two weeks using five categories: number of cases, cases under 60, infection rate, prevalence of the virus in the population, and local pressure on the NHS.
The tiered system is expected to last through March 31st.
The onerous tiered system announced by the Prime Minister will remain in place through March 31
Which areas are immersed in the third stage? Hull and much of the North West are facing the toughest restrictions as London faces Tier 2 and infections in Kent rise
By Mark Duell, Martin Robinson and Connor Boyd
Infection rates remain stubbornly high in areas across the country where local level 3 lockdown rules apply when the England shutdown ends next week. Hull, Kent and parts of the Northwest and Midlands are on the line of fire.
Swale district recorded 631.7 cases per 100,000 people for the week ended November 18. This was the result of an analysis of the latest figures from Public Health England. It was a sharp increase from the 425.8 infections per 100,000 reported in the past seven days.
The rising case rate means Swale is likely to fall into a third stage lockdown when the national shutdown ends on December 2nd, unless the district can drastically reduce its infection rate.
Official data shows that Hull, East Yorkshire, is also at risk of being placed in the high risk category next month, with the city registering 615.1 cases per 100,000.
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 Johnson today unveiled its winter Covid-19 roadmap to contain the spread of the virus, which includes a revised tiered lockdown system starting next month.
Under the new system, pubs and restaurants in the highest category areas will only be able to offer takeout and delivery services, while cinemas, bowling alleys and hotels will close.
Second tier residents must follow the rules previously in place at the highest Covid tier. This means that pubs can only serve alcohol with a "substantial meal".
Exactly which areas will be broken down into different tiers won't be announced until Thursday, but the weekly PHE infection rate data is usually one of the measurements used by officials.
London is expected to revert to a Tier 2 lockdown when the second national lockdown ends on December 2nd, although there are clear signs that the already low infection rates across the capital have stalled and are falling.
Corporations and MPs have called for the UK's largest city to be ranked Tier 1 to reclaim part of the billions the economy has lost since March, as the hotel industry warned 75 percent of pubs, restaurants and cafes not to go broke without freedom of opening go completely.
However, Boris Johnson is expected to ignore their pleas and leave London in Tier 2 – with stricter rules making it more similar to the current Tier 3 – when he announces on Thursday which regions of Tier England will be in. Mr Johnson revealed the detailed lockdown put in place today through Zoom, where he is self-isolating.
The infection rates in the most affected London districts are still outside the top 100 in the ranking of the 317 authorities in England, according to the Department of Health. The seven-day average in London fell from 198.9 to 197.2 per 100,000 people yesterday on Saturday. The national average is currently 235.
When the prime minister outlined his animal strategy for spring through Zoom, she surfaced today:
- Oxford-AstraZeneca announces that the vaccine is 90% effective and can be kept in a regular refrigerator.
- Boris Johnson reveals new rules for the lockdown level with pubs and restaurants reopening "on behalf only" – but gyms and Christmas shopping are back up. The levels that each region will be in from next month will be released on Thursday.
- Ministers propose an extensive testing scheme to avoid the need for self-isolation when people have come into contact with infected individuals in order to win over rebels on the conservative backbenches.
Boris Johnson said he would announce which tiers will apply to each part of the UK on Thursday, with no decision on whether London will return to tier two by the 11th hour.
The move could depend on dates on cases and the R number for submission in the capital in the next few days.
However, the government is heavily criticized by politicians and business leaders when capital is classified in the higher tier three.
The return to the same "high" level as before November 5th means that unnecessary shops, pubs, restaurants and gyms in the capital are allowed to reopen. However, the rules are expected to be even stricter than before. Tier 2 pubs may only be opened if “extensive meals” are served with drinks.
Jace Tyrrell, executive director of the New West End Company, told the Evening Standard, “A safe and sustainable reopening is critical to ensuring retailers and recreational operators have the best possible opportunity to recoup some of the billions of businesses lost this season. For this to be most effective, we hope the government will acknowledge the latest numbers we've seen in the capital and find it appropriate to place London in at least tier 2 if not tier 1. & # 39;
Noam Bar, co-founder of the Ottolenghi Food Empire with chef and best friend Yotam, said, “We have learned to live with Tier 2, although Tier 1 is of course preferable for both us as a company and the government – Tier 1 We would employ more staff and pay more taxes. & # 39;
London won't be the only area awaiting a return to devastatingly strict rules when December comes.
Swale parish council chairman Roger Truelove reiterated his comments, claiming that lockdown rules in the parish were "deliberately disregarded" as residents routinely did not wear face coverings and ignored social distancing.
An emergency meeting of local councils and health officials will be held today to discuss why the virus has grown so rapidly in the district, home to approximately 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 18.
In a Commons statement this afternoon, Boris Johnson will confirm that the second national lockdown will end in England on December 2nd, with a return to the previously applicable regional approach
In just two of the nine regions, the majority of areas are seeing increases from week to week – London and the South East. However, it is too early to assess the full impact of the English lockdown on fall rates.
The statewide restrictions began on November 5th and the most recent figures are for the week ending November 18th – just 14 days after the lockdown.
Since it can take up to two weeks for Covid-19 symptoms to appear and more time to test someone and process the result, more data is needed to be sure of how and where case rates are going down.
However, the latest numbers suggest that the numbers are going in the right direction, if not in all parts of England.
The rate is increasing in 34 out of 67 local governments in South East England, the worrying figures show. Other areas with big jumps are Medway (from 256.3 to 384.8) and Gravesham (from 269.3 to 386.2).
The biggest week-to-week drop was recorded in Oxford, where the rate fell from 256.5 to 152.8. The Isle of Wight has the lowest rate in the region: 76.2, up slightly from 74.8.
Of the 32 areas in London, 20 saw increases, with the largest jumps being Havering (from 309.4 to 386.0), Enfield (from 175.6 to 230.4) and Redbridge (from 249.0 to 300.4) were.
Havering also has the highest rate in London. Camden has the lowest score of 125.2 to 113.3. The neighboring borough of Islington saw the biggest drop from 179.0 to 145.2 from week to week.
Rates are now falling in almost all areas of Yorkshire and Humber – a reversal from last week when most areas rose.
In the most recent figures, only three areas out of 21 showed an increase: Craven, North Lincolnshire and Selby. North Lincolnshire saw the biggest week-on-week rate hike – but it was a small increase from 412.1 to 448.1.
Scarborough saw the largest drop from 614.2 to 349.4. Hull continues to have the highest rate in the region and the second highest in all of England: 615.1 compared to 785.3.
Prices have risen in only three of the 39 areas in North West England – Carlisle, Hyndburn and South Lakeland. Hyndburn saw the largest increase from 382.5 to 487.4, the highest rate in the region.
The Garrick Arms Pub in Charing Cross is closed and boarded up and is one of the many pubs that were boarded up after the hospitality industry in the capital fell
Covent Garden in London is pictured on Friday. The capital is expected to return to stage two despite falling infection rates in many districts
Oldham, which once had the highest rate in England, has dropped from 641.1 to 442.0 – the biggest drop from the week in the North West.
It has also been suggested that the levels should vary between boroughs, although this would be difficult to enforce given the number of Londoners traveling between them for work.
Today Mr Johnson made plans for the new levels of restrictions to replace the lockdown in England and pave the way for limited relaxation this Christmas.
He outlined his winter strategy this afternoon with a plan to use 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.
It was hoped that vaccines could end the pandemic after a British bite was found to be up to 90 percent effective against Covid-19.
AstraZeneca and Oxford University said their push is preventing most people from contracting coronavirus and getting seriously ill.
There is some evidence that it can also prevent people from passing the virus on to others. The jab is expected to be launched in the UK from December.
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