Who's in your Christmas bubble Covid restrictions are being eased across the UK for five days

What are the UK rules for Christmas?

  • Three households are allowed to form a Christmas bubble and meet inside.
  • The relaxation of the rules applies for five days from December 23rd to 27th.
  • & # 39; Christmas bubbles & # 39; are allowed to gather in private houses, outdoors and at places of worship.
  • The UK plan means people will be allowed to travel across the country to meet with their family.
  • This includes places to and from places at different levels and between British nations
  • & # 39; Christmas bubbles & # 39; must be repaired and cannot be changed – households must be exclusive.
  • & # 39; Christmas Bubbles & # 39; are not allowed to meet in hospitality environments such as pubs and restaurants.
  • People in a bubble don't need to keep social distancing.
  • However, they are advised to use restraint and judgment when trying to mingle with vulnerable friends or family members.
  • Instructions on the Christmas carol and other topics will be released later this week.
  • Children whose parents are separated can move between two separate bubbles.

Three households are allowed to create “Christmas bubbles” over the Christmas season after politicians across the UK agree to loosen draconian curbs and give beleaguered families a break from coronavirus rules.

At a meeting of the Cobra Emergency Committee with four nations that afternoon, plans were agreed that allow extended families and friends to meet in exclusive groups without social distancing.

The casual action will take place from Wednesday December 23rd through Sunday December 27th, paving the way for families in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to meet.

In England, those who are already in “support bubbles” with vulnerable or lonely relatives living elsewhere are considered a household under the new rules – which increases the size of potential gatherings.

Travel across plains in England is permitted, as is travel between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

But a blow for the hotel industry, the Christmas bubbles may only meet in private houses, places of worship and in public spaces outdoors.

The rules for pubs, restaurants and other venues remain the same no matter what level they are in.

The agreement was made between the Cabinet Minister Michael Gove and the First Ministers of the decentralized governments.

After the meeting, Mr Gove said: “The British agreement reached today will offer hope to families and friends who have made many sacrifices during this difficult year.

“We know the Christmas season will not be normal this year, but following constructive discussions between the UK government and decentralized administrations, families and friends now have the opportunity to meet on a limited and cautious basis across the UK if they wish.

"In reaching this agreement, we listened to scientific and clinical advice on how to best minimize risk and establish a balanced and workable set of rules that we hope will allow people to spend time together at this important time of year."

But Boris Johnson was more cautious during a video posted on Twitter.

He said: 'This year Christmas will be different. Many of us long to spend time with family and friends, regardless of belief or background. Yet we cannot afford to ignore caution.

“The virus doesn't know it's Christmas and we all have to be careful.

"I know this is not the same as a normal Christmas holiday and will not work for everyone. It is up to each of us to think carefully about how we use this particular limited-time donation."

First Welsh Minister Mark Drakeford said, "We need to realize that Christmas is a very important time for people and that you need to have a set of rules within which people are willing to operate within those rules."

He added: “Although I hesitate because of the state of the virus in Wales and across the UK, it is better that we make a series of joint agreements that give people a framework to manage and act responsibly within the virus. & # 39;

It came after Nicola Sturgeon previously suggested that the Christmas break wouldn't be quite the same after the coronavirus lockdown in Scotland.

Tonight she said, “We know that for some, contact with friends and family is critical at this time, as isolation and loneliness can hit people particularly hard at Christmas time. The "bubble" approach aims to reduce this impact.

“But we have to be clear that there can be no further relaxation of the measures for Hogmanay. Even this brief relaxation gives the virus a chance to spread. Our priority is to suppress the transmission of COVID-19 and reduce the risk for vulnerable people and those who have been shielded for so long – and to do this, the rules must be followed.

“Just because you can mingle with others indoors during this time doesn't mean you have to. If you choose to follow the rules as they are, you will continue the hard work to fight this virus and prevent it from spreading. & # 39;

In Scotland there are currently different assembly rules than in England. B. the exclusion of minors under 12 years of age.

For days, desperate efforts have been made to find a common position for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to make a kind of family Christmas possible.

An announcement was expected today, but earlier this was called into question when government sources admitted "details need ironing out".

In other major developments today:

  • The UK has seen the lowest number of new infections since early October at 11,299, almost half of last Tuesday. However, the number of deaths rose slightly to 608.
  • Boris Johnson faces a growing Tory mutiny over his new lockdown levels, with MPs setting the vague criteria and warning that they should not be locked under a different name.
  • Grant Shapps has urged the British not to use trains for Christmas as they will be "too busy" despite UK ministers meeting to work out a plan to simplify coronavirus rules so that family reunions can take place.
  • The Prime Minister has been warned by angry London Tories that it would be an economic "disaster" if the capital were hit with the strictest restrictions once the lockdown ended.
  • Pubs are being slaughtered like "sacrificial lambs" to unlock other parts of the economy, landlords have warned in light of new restrictions;
  • Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is more than 90 percent effective and costs less than $ 10 (£ 7) per dose, the country's authorities said.

Infection rates in different parts of the UK in September (left) and last week (right). Slide to see the difference.

English chiefs of medicine and science, Chris Whitty (left) and Patrick Vallance (right), were at the Cobra meeting tonight to discuss the Christmas rules

English chiefs of medicine and science, Chris Whitty (left) and Patrick Vallance (right), were at the Cobra meeting tonight to discuss the Christmas rules

Burlington Arcade is decked out in festive decorations, but shops are waiting for the lockdown to end to reopen in central London

Burlington Arcade is decked out with festive decorations, but shops are waiting for the lockdown to end to reopen in central London

How will the government decide what levels areas will be divided into?

Boris Johnson said the government will be "generally sound" when it comes to placing areas in Tiers, and his "winter plan" included a number of metrics that will be used to make the decision. You are:

  • Case detection rates in all age groups;
  • Case detection rates in the over 60s;
  • The rate at which falls rise or fall;
  • Positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests performed); and
  • Pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy.

However, there are no specific trigger levels for getting on or off levels. The document added that "there will be flexibility to balance these indicators according to the context".

"For example, hospital capacity in a given area needs to be considered in light of capacity in neighboring areas and the feasibility of moving patients," the document says.

"The detection rates of cases need to weigh whether the spread of the virus appears to be limited to particular communities."

As the dispute between the British nations continues, Mr Johnson faces a Tory revolt over his new local lockdown plans for 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.

According to Whitehall sources, very few districts would operate in Tier One where indoor socializing would be allowed.

A source said it was "quite possible nobody is in the first tier" as the latest Covid numbers are analyzed tomorrow by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty.

Senior Conservatives 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 mixing.

There have been complaints that the criteria for deciding on animal assignments are too vague and the geographic areas too broad.

MPs and London Mayor Sadiq Khan have been lobbying to stay away from the toughest levels.

Alarming to Mr Johnson, the mighty year 1922 chairman said this afternoon that he was "inclined" to oppose the measures in a vote next week. Sir Graham Brady said he was concerned that the damage being done to the economy would "leave a legacy to live with for years to come".

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." The government unveiled its new three-tier system for ending the current lockdown on December 2nd.

Number 10 & # 39; fake Covid dates picked from cherries to justify England's second lockdown & # 39;

According to one of the UK's top experts, the number 10 cherry-picked "fake" coronavirus dates to justify England's second lockdown are and may have been intended to scare the public.

Well-known statistician Sir David Spiegelhalter said ministers "broke pretty much every code of conduct" by only showing worst-case scenarios, often based on outdated data.

The Cambridge professor said to MPs today: “Of course I don't want to attribute motivation to anyone. But if someone was really trying to manipulate the audience, scare them and convince them that what was done was right rather than actually informing them, then this is the kind of thing it could do. & # 39;

Downing Street used Doom-Mongering charts, which predicted 50,000 cases per day by mid-October and 4,000 deaths per day by the end of November, to justify England's second lockdown.

These fantastic charts have been widely ridiculed because the country recorded 14,000 daily infections over the past month and daily deaths averaged 441.

Professor Spiegelhalter said today in a select committee of the House of Commons: “These forecasts were made in early October by a team based on certain very pessimistic assumptions.

“They had already been redesigned twice when they were shown to the public, so it was completely inappropriate to show them to the public.

“I'm not saying the verdict (to decide to go to lockdown) was wrong, I'm not commenting on it.

“What I strongly disagree with is the fact that such incorrect data and graphics were presented to the public as a justification for the decisions made.

“You didn't need this chart, you just needed very short term projections to say something needed to be done, or we could get into real trouble very quickly.

“There is good data available, and yet the need to convince people and give people some emotional response seems to take on a really high level of decision-making at some point. I find it pretty unfortunate. & # 39;

Even Tory MPs compared the Doomsday data used to justify the second lockdown to the controversial dossier Britain sent to war on Iraq.

Labor has said it is unsafe to support the plan when it comes to a vote next week as Tiers are too "risky" but they are more likely to abstain than oppose it directly.

That said, the government is almost guaranteed to win.

However, a major Tory insurrection would deal another blow to the prime minister's authority.

Sir Graham told BBC World at One that he was unlikely to support the measures next week.

"I am concerned that a large number of companies, especially but not exclusively in the hospitality industry, have already lost money under Tier Two," he said.

“There is a very narrow limit to how long they can go on without even higher unemployment and especially youth unemployment.

"And we know the impact – not just economically, but on the other health effects, physical and mental health – is enormous when we see this great economic blow in terms of unemployment and opportunities for young people is the legacy that we could live with for years to come.

Former Minister Sir Desmond Swayne told MailOnline that the critical moment will come when the levels are assigned.

& # 39; There are many concerns. Will anyone get away with Tier One? & # 39; he said.

“I was in Tier One before. The mood music seems to suggest that everyone is climbing one – it's going to be worse than before.

& # 39; We'll have gone from lock to lock under a different name. That is indefinite – it goes on until spring. It's a miserable situation, but devastating for companies.

& # 39; It's disastrous. Those mad scientists … to be fair, they are only asked how to stop a virus from spreading, but politically speaking, how to stop an economic catastrophe from spreading. & # 39;

Tory's mayoral candidate for London Shaun Bailey and MPs in the capital have called on the government to stop the introduction of the third stage.

Mr Khan tweeted, “London's unique ecosystem of bars, businesses, restaurants, clubs and cultural institutions has had an extremely difficult year.

"If they had to close in Tier 3 during the Christmas season and beyond, it would be a blow from the hammer that many might not recover from."

Labor Mayor of Liverpool, Steve Rotheram, also called for the area's status to be downgraded from before the national lockdown. "I definitely hope that our region does not go back to the highest level," he said.

Conservative MP for South West Devon Gary Streeter said he had urged to be in Tier One. "I just finished a Zoom call with health ministers who are pushing for our region to be included in Tier 1 next week," he tweeted.

& # 39; Might touch and walk. We will try to strike the right balance between protecting public health and breathing the economy. & # 39;

Another Tory, William Wragg, warned that his Hazel Grove seat should not be subject to stricter restrictions because of his cases in neighboring areas. "We need to make sure local Covid data is used when making level decisions," he said.

Marcus Fysh MP told MailOnline that the numbers in Yeovil appeared to be down and was "concerned" about the animal assignments. “I'm not sure where Somerset will be. I wouldn't hope tier three, and I wouldn't hope tier two. But I wouldn't be surprised if it was tier two. & # 39;

Mr Johnson is trying to get a Christmas treaty with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford

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

The onerous tiered system announced by the Prime Minister will remain in place through March 31

The onerous tiered system announced by the Prime Minister will remain in place through March 31

MPs have warned Boris Johnson (pictured last night) that it will be "catastrophic" for businesses to place parts of the country under draconian Level 2 and 3 restrictions and spark a harmful new mutiny

MPs have warned Boris Johnson (pictured last night) that it will be "catastrophic" for businesses to place parts of the country under draconian Level 2 and 3 restrictions and spark a harmful new mutiny

Avoid "busy" trains at Christmas, ministers warn

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 Transport Minister 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 December 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 the rules could be relaxed "easily and carefully" for a few days, while Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething has proposed tough measures to fight the virus before Christmas to give "more leeway for the holiday season" to accomplish.

He suggested that there should be more precise criteria for deciding which levels to apply. & # 39; There is no rating. It's all fingers in the air … "" That seems like a way, "" said Mr. Fysh.

Julian Sturdy MP is also pushing for York to be in Tier One. "After the self-discipline York residents have shown to bring our rate down to the lowest in Yorkshire, my major concern now is that a supraregional approach may not reflect this and may lead to tougher action due to higher rates in Hull." Scarborough & Leeds, ”he said.

In the Commons last night, ex-whip boss Mark Spencer, who heads a 70-strong Covid recovery group of skeptical MPs, said they would "judge" the measures until the Tiers collapse was known.

"I think if your area gets Tier 3, you will have a hard time seeing a huge difference from the lockdown," he said.

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 had 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" at 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 persistent far-reaching restrictions will face significant opposition from many businesses, especially 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 there needs 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 railed against Downing Street.

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 study led to 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 being 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 in 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 were "devastating".

He added, “It's absolutely rotten for them to highlight hospitality in this way. It makes me sick. & # 39;

Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby urged people to "see their loved ones" for Christmas in order to tackle the "really dangerous epidemic of isolation".

He also encouraged Christian worship during the holiday season, telling BBC Newsnight, “Go to church online. Go to church physically.

“You will find that there will be far fewer people there because we are keeping people two meters apart. “Go to church, pray. Remember that at the heart of Christmas is the gift of Jesus Christ from God to give us hope, life and a future. & # 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 – in the balance between a national lockdown and a new normal. "

Der Premierminister sagte, er bedauere die wirtschaftliche Not sehr, bestand jedoch darauf, dass dies unvermeidlich sei, da eine dritte Welle von Coronaviren verhindert werden müsse.

Er lobte den Durchbruch in Oxford und sagte zu einer Pressekonferenz in der Downing Street: "Wir können die trommelnden Hufe der Kavallerie über die Stirn des Hügels kommen hören."

Die Gebiete, in denen das größte Risiko besteht, unter Tier 3 eingestuft zu werden: East Sussex, Herefordshire und Milton Keynes, gehörten zu den zehn Behörden in England, die den größten Anstieg der Covid-Infektionsraten verzeichneten

East Sussex, Herefordshire und Milton Keynes waren die lokalen Behörden in England, die in der letzten Woche die größten Spitzen bei Coronavirus-Fällen erlitten haben, wie offizielle Daten ergeben haben.

Statistiken von Public Health England zeigen, dass die Infektionsraten – die Anzahl der neuen Coronavirus-Fälle pro 100.000 Menschen – in allen drei Gebieten in dem am 15. November endenden siebentägigen Zeitraum um mindestens 50 Prozent gestiegen sind. Auch Kent, Teile von Essex und London waren stark betroffen steigt an.

Die größten Zuwächse wurden in Gebieten verzeichnet, die im Rahmen des lokalen Systems nur Tier-1- oder Tier-2-Regeln unterworfen waren, während die Gebiete, in denen die meisten Rückgänge zu verzeichnen waren, fast alle Tier-3-Gebiete im Nordwesten waren, angeführt von Warrington, Oldham, Wigan und Blackburn , die während der zweiten Welle Englands eine große Anzahl von Infektionen erlitten hat.

Boris Johnson bestätigte gestern Abend, dass die zweite drakonische Sperrung des Landes am 2. Dezember enden wird. No10 entschied sich für die Rückkehr zu einem überarbeiteten dreistufigen System, das möglicherweise bis mindestens 31. März in Kraft bleiben muss – mehr als ein Jahr nach Beginn der ersten Sperrung .

Die Minister warten auf die aktuellsten Daten, um zu entscheiden, in welche Klammern die einzelnen Behörden gestellt werden. Die Aufschlüsselung soll am Donnerstag veröffentlicht werden. Die politischen Entscheidungsträger analysieren die Infektionsraten, testen die Positivität und die Geschwindigkeit des Ausbruchswachstums, um über die Maßnahmen zu entscheiden.

Es wird erwartet, dass die am stärksten betroffenen Gebiete, einschließlich Hull und Nordwesten, unter die härteste Stufe Drei fallen, wodurch Restaurants und Pubs geschlossen werden müssen – es sei denn, sie bieten Imbissbuden an.

Die Debatte darüber, in welcher Klammer sich London befinden sollte, tobt. Der Bürgermeister der Hauptstadt, Sadiq Khan, prognostiziert, dass die Stadt mit Tier 2 konfrontiert sein wird – was das Mischen in Innenräumen mit anderen Haushalten verbietet. Aber hochrangige Tories, darunter Sir Iain Duncan Smith, forderten gestern Abend, dass die Stadt, das pulsierende Herz der britischen Wirtschaft, unter die erste Stufe gestellt wird.

Die Bürgermeister des Nordens haben sich gegen Pläne ausgesprochen, sie in höhere Stufen zu bringen. Andy Burnham aus Greater Manchester sagte, sie könnten in der Region ein „weit verbreitetes Geschäftsversagen“ auslösen. Die Abgeordneten haben T2 und T3 gewarnt, dass sie für Unternehmen "katastrophal" sein und eine schädliche neue Meuterei auslösen werden.

Whitehall-Quellen teilten der Daily Mail mit, dass nur sehr wenigen Gebieten Tier-One-Beschränkungen gewährt würden, wobei nur in den ländlichen Regionen – wie Cornwall und South Oxfordshire – wahrscheinlich die leichtesten Regeln gelten würden.

Pendler, die am 26. Oktober in eine Londoner U-Bahn gepackt wurden, während die Millionen der Hauptstadt inmitten der Pandemie weiter arbeiten

Pendler, die am 26. Oktober in eine Londoner U-Bahn gepackt wurden, während die Millionen der Hauptstadt inmitten der Pandemie weiter arbeiten

Welche lokalen Behörden haben die höchste Covid-19-Infektionsrate?





Nordost Lincs







* Infektionsrate











% Veränderung

+ 1,6%

+ 53,9%

+ 4,4%

+ 29,7%

+ 4,4%

+ 7,6%



+ 9,6%


Die oben genannten Daten basieren auf dem Überwachungsbericht von Public Health England über den siebentägigen Zeitraum bis zum 15. November, für den spätestens Daten verfügbar sind.

Dies ist weniger als zwei Wochen nach der Verhängung der Sperrung in England, was bedeutet, dass die Auswirkungen der Sperrung nicht angezeigt werden, da es bis zu zwei Wochen dauert, bis jemand, der mit dem Virus infiziert ist, Symptome zeigt und dann positiv testet.

* Die Infektionsraten werden als Covid-19-Fälle pro 100.000 Personen angegeben.

Der Premierminister warnte gestern Abend: "Wir erwarten, dass mehr Regionen zumindest zeitlich auf ein höheres Niveau fallen als zuvor, aber indem wir diese härteren Ebenen verwenden und schnelle Turnaround-Tests in immer größerem Maßstab verwenden, um R unter eins zu bringen."

Er fügte jedoch hinzu, dass die verschärften Stufen es den lokalen Behörden ermöglichen sollten, "die Staffelung auf niedrigere Beschränkungen zu senken", wenn die Fälle zu sinken beginnen.

Das vorherige System wurde heftig kritisiert, weil Gebiete in die dritte Stufe eingestuft wurden und dann scheinbar keinen Ausweg aus den Bordsteinen hatten.

Politiker und lokale Führer versammeln sich heute, um die Beschränkungen vor erhebliche Herausforderungen zu stellen.

In der Hauptstadt hat das Tory-Schwergewicht Sir Ian dem Telegraph gesagt, dass es in Tier 1 platziert werden muss, um das Land wiederzubeleben.

"London ist in der Wirtschaft dominant und wir brauchen es, um sofort wieder arbeiten zu können", sagte er.

Ein anderer Londoner Abgeordneter teilte dem Guardian mit, dass sie "heftig Lobbyarbeit" für die Wiedereröffnung von Pubs, Bars und Restaurants in der Hauptstadt betreiben.

Sadiq Khan sagte gestern gegenüber LBC: "Es ist noch etwas früh zu sagen, aber basierend auf den Zahlen, die ich gesehen habe, was eine Verlangsamung der Virusausbreitung darstellt, kommt es in Teilen von London in einigen Bezirken zu einem Rückgang."

"Was ich hoffe, ist … London würde wahrscheinlich in der sogenannten zweiten Stufe sein."

None of London's boroughs have a Covid-19 infection rate below 100 cases per 100,000 people, according to Public Health England figures from the seven-day spell ending November 15, the latest date for which data is available.

But in 20 of the 32 boroughs the infection rate rose last week, with the biggest jumps in Havering, Enfield and Redbridge.

The highest infection rate is in Havering, in the north-east of the city, the only borough where they surged above 300 per 100,000.

The number of patients being rushed to hospital in the capital suffering from Covid-19 remains low, according to the Department of Health, at a seven-day average of 154.7 admissions on November 17. But this is far below the peak of the first wave, when on average 748 patients were being taken to hospital with Covid-19 every day.

These levels are also among the lowest in the country, which ministers are expected to argue mean that London can be spared the sharpest curbs on public freedoms.

Which local authorities have the highest surges in Covid-19 infections?


East Sussex


Milton Keynes







North Lincs

% surge











*Infection rate











The above is based on Public Health England's surveillance report on the seven-day spell up to November 15, the latest for which data is available.

This is less than two weeks after England's lockdown was imposed, meaning it is unlikely to show the full impact of the tightened curbs as it takes two weeks for someone infected to get hospitalised.

*Infection rates are given as Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people.

Mayors in the North of England are also mounting opposition to yet again being placed under higher tiers, with Sheffield city leader Dan Jarvis warning: 'We're willing to do our bit, but we must not be taken for granted.'

He added: 'Tougher restrictions have had a massive impact on South Yorkshire's economy.

'The Government said it will return to its levelling up agenda after the pandemic, but the brutal reality is we cannot wait that long.

'At Wednesday's Spending Review, the Government has a golden opportunity to deliver on its promises.

'I've pressed Ministers to bring forward major investment, to give the North the best chance of weathering the storm, ensure businesses survive a tough winter and allow us to kick start the job of economic recovery and renewal.'

Greater Manchester's mayor Andy Burnham has come out hard against being plunged into the toughest measures.

Mr Burnham said a toughened Tier Three 'could be devastating for the hospitality industry and will hit cities and the city economy very, very hard indeed'.

Across England Swale, in Kent, has the worst infection rate in the country at 631.7 per 100,000.

Local leaders there have spoken of their 'frustration' that residents appear not to be following restrictions, and taking simple precautions such as wearing a face mask.

Swale's council leader, Roger Truelove, said lockdown rules in the borough were being 'willfully disregarded', with residents regularly not wearing face coverings and ignoring social distancing.

An emergency council meeting was held yesterday to discuss why the district – which is home to about 150,000 and includes the Isle of Sheppey – has seen such rapid growth of the virus.

The latest analysis of PHE figures, by the Press Association news agency, found Covid-19 case rates started to fall in most local areas across England in the most recent week, up to November 15.

Only two of nine regions – London and the South East – are still recording week-on-week rises in cases. The full impact of England's second national lockdown, however, is yet to become apparent in the data.

It takes up to two weeks for someone who has caught the virus to show symptoms, get tested, and receive a positive result. This means that many infections currently being reported may have occurred before the emergency measures were brought in.

But the latest figures suggest the numbers are heading in the right direction, though not in all parts of England.

The nationwide restrictions began on November 5, and the most recent figures are for the week ending November 15 – just 14 days into the lockdown.

Two weeks ago the average infection rates were lower than today - but the worst-hit London boroughs are still outside the top 100 in the league table of 317 authorities in England, Department of Health statistics show

Two weeks ago the average infection rates were lower than today – but the worst-hit London boroughs are still outside the top 100 in the league table of 317 authorities in England, Department of Health statistics show

Daily Hospitalisation rates with Covid-19 across England


North East&Yorks


North West


South East

South West

East of England

Daily admissions








% change








This data is based on the latest figures from the Department of Health. Daily admissions is the seven-day average of admissions to November 17. And % change is based on the difference between the average on November 17 and November 10.

Infection surges were recorded in 34 out of 67 local authorities in the South East, with Medway seeing the biggest jump.

Medway, in Kent, had the sixth biggest surge in infections in the country when they rose by 39.3 per cent to 299 per 100,000.

But the biggest week-on-week falls were recorded in the North West – signalling that earlier measures were helping to drive down cases alongside the lockdown.

Warrington saw the biggest fall in England, where infections dropped by 32.5 per cent to 259.6 per 100,000.

It was followed by Oldham, in Greater Manchester, where infections fell by 30.7 per cent to 519.2 per 100,000.

And Wigan saw the third biggest fall with a 30.3 per cent drop to 403.2 per 100,000.

When the tiered system returns on December 3, they will be reviewed every two weeks to establish whether local authorities need to have stricter curbs imposed or can be dropped to lower restrictions.

It is set to be in place until March 31, at which point the tiered system will come to an end.

Boris Johnson said last night that he hoped the country would be able to get back to normal 'by Easter', predicting this could be when the elderly and most vulnerable members of the population will have received a Covid-19 vaccine.

Three vaccines – including Oxford's jab – have said they are at least 70 per cent effective at triggering an immune response, prompting Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to say 'the end of the tunnel' of the pandemic is in sight.

Mr Khan (pictured earlier this year) thinks his city is going into 'what is called Tier 2'

Mr Khan (pictured earlier this year) thinks his city is going into 'what is called Tier 2'

The UK has ordered 100million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, with up to four million set to arrive this year. It is also expecting the first part of a delivery of 40million doses from Pfizer and BioNtech – who say their vaccine is 90 per cent effective – by the end of the year, and five million doses from Moderna – with a 94.5 per cent effective shot – in the spring next year.

Leaked NHS plans reveal they could start vaccinating the elderly and most vulnerable against the virus in early December, with vaccines being rolled out to the rest of the population in the new year.

But scientists have urged caution, warning none of the jabs have yet been approved for use by the UK's regulator the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The regulator reviews data on vaccine effectiveness and how safe it is before deciding whether or not to allow it to be administered across the country. It is a process that usually takes two years but, amid pressure to get life back to normal, the regulator has said it is working hard to make a decision quickly.

The Prime Minister detailed his winter strategy yesterday, with a plan to deploy a major testing scheme in an attempt to win over rebels on the Conservative backbenches.

He told tell MPs that non-essential shops can open in all three tiers after the current restrictions expire on December 2, in a boost for retailers.

Mr Johnson also set out the basis of plans to allow a small number of households across the UK to mix over a limited number of days around Christmas.

Official testing data shows that coronavirus infection rates are falling across the North of England, where they were highest during the peak of the second wave, but they remain high in some areas of the West Midlands, Kent, Greater Manchester and Yorkshire (Darker colours indicate higher rates of positive tests per 100,000 people)

Official testing data shows that coronavirus infection rates are falling across the North of England, where they were highest during the peak of the second wave, but they remain high in some areas of the West Midlands, Kent, Greater Manchester and Yorkshire (Darker colours indicate higher rates of positive tests per 100,000 people)

Boris's plan for winter in full: How PM hopes to get 'back to normal' by Easter with 56-page Winter Plan combining vaccines, treatments and tough new lockdown Tiers – WITHOUT crashing the economy

Boris Johnson today published a 56-page Winter Plan mapping out coronavirus rules which will apply to daily life until the Spring when the Government hopes draconian curbs can start to be lifted for good.

The Prime Minister confirmed the England-wide lockdown will end as planned on December 2 and the nation will then move back into a tiered system of measures which will be tougher than those in place before November.

But Mr Johnson struck an optimistic tone this afternoon as he said 'for the first time since this wretched virus took hold, we can see a route out of the pandemic'.

Below is a breakdown of the Prime Minister's strategy.

He said 'breakthroughs in treatment, in testing and vaccines mean that the scientific cavalry is now in sight' and by April next year 'these advances should reduce the need for the restrictions we have endured in 2020'.

Mr Johnson said technological advancements will 'make the whole concept of a Covid lockdown redundant' as he urged the nation to stick to his Winter Plan and endure the 'long road to Spring'.

The Government's Three Main Objectives

Mr Johnson's Winter Plan is aimed at delivering on three key objectives.

The first is to bring the R rate of transmission of the disease below the critical number of one and to keep it there on a sustained basis.

An R number of three, for example, would mean that each infected person goes onto infect a further three people, leading to exponential growth in the virus.

Boris Johnson today set out his Winter Plan which will guide the UK's coronavirus response during the coming months until a hope for escape from curbs in the Spring

Boris Johnson today set out his Winter Plan which will guide the UK's coronavirus response during the coming months until a hope for escape from curbs in the Spring

Shoppers pass a Christmas window display in a store on Oxford Street, London, on November 23 following the news that retail stores will be allowed to reopen after December 2

Shoppers pass a Christmas window display in a store on Oxford Street, London, on November 23 following the news that retail stores will be allowed to reopen after December 2

Keeping the number below one means that on average an infected person would infect less than one other person. This would in turn result in the number of new infections falling.

The second objective is to find and roll out new and more effective ways of managing coronavirus in order to allow life to 'return closer to normal'.

This will include deploying vaccines, implementing new medical treatments and improving the NHS Test and Trace programme.

The third objective is to minimise damage to the economy and to society as well as to jobs and livelihoods.

Route Back to Normality: Vaccines

Arguably the most important piece of the puzzle for getting life back to normal is the development and roll out of a working coronavirus vaccine.

Mr Johnson's Winter Plan states that vaccines which 'provide durable and effective immunity to COVID-19 will substantially reduce the mortality rate of the virus and may limit its transmission'.

A working coronavirus jab should therefore allow ministers to ease restrictions because the spread of infection, particularly to people in society's most vulnerable groups, should be greatly reduced.

The Government has struck deals with seven separate vaccine developers and has secured access to more than 350 million doses between now and the end of next year.

The roll out of the vaccines will be entirely dependent on them receiving the green light from regulators and the Government has stressed 'the public will always come first'.

'A COVID-19 vaccine will only be approved for use if it has met robust standards on safety, effectiveness and quality through clinical trials,' the Winter Plan states.

However, ministers are confident that at least some of the vaccines will clear the regulatory hurdle in the coming months.

It will then become a question of not just deploying them but also establishing how long it takes for them to be effective and how long immunity could last.

The roll-out of the vaccination will be the biggest health project ever undertaken by a modern British government and the stakes will be high for it to go well.

Route Back to Normality: Treatments

The ability to treat patients with Covid-19 will be critical both before and during the roll out of vaccines because even with the new restrictions there are likely to still be thousands of infections.

Effective treatments will be 'vital' in managing the virus, especially for people who cannot be vaccinated, for example if they are immunocompromised.

The Winter Plan states: 'Finding effective treatments will reduce risk to lives and serious illness for people who do contract the virus and support the return to normal life.'

Results are expected in the coming months for a variety of drugs and treatments which could help people fight the disease and recover.

Route Back to Normality: Testing

If vaccines are the most important piece in the puzzle for getting life back to normal then improved testing is a close second.

The Government's approach to coronavirus testing has so far focused on symptomatic testing.

But ministers hope a massive expansion in testing capacity – crucially using rapid turnaround tests – will enable them to better locate asymptomatic cases of the disease and prevent people passing it on unknowingly.

The ability to identify and quarantine people who have coronavirus but are not displaying any symptoms on a mass scale is seen as a potential game changer in the fight against the disease and it could have a massive impact on infection rates.

The Winter Plan states: 'The Government plans to introduce frequent testing as an alternative to the need for self-isolation for people who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

'Instead, contacts will be offered regular tests as an alternative to isolation and only have to self-isolate if they test positive.'

Local areas which are placed into the top tier of restrictions will be offered the opportunity to take part in a 'six week testing surge' to tackle local outbreaks.

Meanwhile, an additional £7billion is being pumped into NHS Test and Trace, taking its overall funding in the current financial year to some £22billion.

Controlling the Virus: A Return to Tiers

Meeting family and friends

The Rule of Six will return, with variations on whether socialising can take place indoors or outdoors depending on the tier.

In Tier 1 – medium alert – people will be able to meet in groups of six indoors and outdoors, while in Tier 2 – high alert – socialising with five others will only be allowed outdoors.

In Tier 3, the highest alert level, groups of six will only be able to meet in outdoor public spaces, such as parks and sports courts – but not in private gardens.

Pubs, bars and restaurants

Hospitality will be closed except for takeaway in areas under Tier 3 restrictions, but the rules are slightly more relaxed for Tiers 1 and 2.

In Tier 2, hospitality must close unless it is operating as a restaurant, and alcohol can only be served with a substantial meal.

In Tier 1, venues must be table service only. The 10pm curfew will be replaced with a last orders call at 10pm, and venues must close at 11pm, for Tier 1 and 2.

It is hoped the change to the curfew will prevent the rush to the exit seen under the old rules and result in a more staggered departure from venues by customers.

Shops, entertainment and hairdressers

In every tier, retail and personal care businesses – such as hairdressers and beauty salons – will be allowed to reopen.

Indoor entertainment venues – such as cinemas, theatres, bowling alleys and casinos – will be allowed to stay open in Tiers 1 and 2, but not Tier 3.

The return of non-essential shops will be welcomed by business groups because it comes at the start of the critical Christmas rush for many retailers.

Weddings, funerals and worship

Weddings and civil partnerships can resume but with only 15 guests, though wedding receptions are banned in Tier 3.

Thirty people will be allowed to attend funerals, but only 15 will be able to attend a wake.

Places of worship can reopen in all tiers for collective worship, but in Tiers 2 and 3 people must not interact with anyone outside their household or support bubble.

Gyms and exercise

Gyms and swimming pools will be able to reopen in all tiers.

In Tier 1, classes and organised adult sport can take place outdoors, but must follow the rule of six indoors.

Indoor classes and organised adult sport cannot take place in Tier 2 or 3 if there is interaction with different households.

In Tier 3, classes and organised adult sport can take place outdoors, but people are advised to avoid higher-risk contact activity.


In Tier 1, people will be told to walk or cycle wherever they can and to avoid travel into Tier 3 areas except for if such a journey is necessary for work or for education.

Tier 2 areas will see people asked to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible and also to avoid travel into Tier 3 areas, except for work or education.

Tier 3 will see people asked to avoid travelling out of the area other than if it is necessary for work or education. They will also be asked to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible.

One of the Government's three main objectives during the coming months is to get the R rate of infection down below one and keep it there

One of the Government's three main objectives during the coming months is to get the R rate of infection down below one and keep it there

Official estimates show the R rate of transmission is estimated to be significantly different in different parts of the country

Official estimates show the R rate of transmission is estimated to be significantly different in different parts of the country

Working from Home

During the worst months of the pandemic the Government urged people to work from home wherever they could before then encouraging a return to the office in the summer.

The guidance was changed again in September back to a plea to stay at home and the Winter Plan is sticking with that approach.

The blueprint states 'home working can have a significant effect on reducing transmission if all those who can work from home do so'.

Ministers are now encouraging all employers to 'enable a greater degree of home working' with the Government adamant that 'anyone who can work from home should do so'.

Elite sport and live performances

Large events – such as theatre and spectator sport – will be permitted in Tiers 1 and 2, but with reductions on capacity.

In Tier 3, they will still be banned but drive-in events will be permitted.

In Tier 1 there will be a restriction on spectator numbers of 50 per cent of capacity or 4,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors, whichever is lower.

In Tier 2 the spectator levels will be set at 50 per cent of capacity or 2,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors, whichever is lower.


The move back to a tiered approach does not change the basic rules which the Government has been reliant on throughout much of the pandemic.

That means ministers are still urging people to wear face masks in enclosed environments, to maintain social distancing and to self-isolate when infection is suspected or confirmed.

The Winter Plan states that the 'normalisation of these behaviours has had an undoubted impact on reducing the spread of the virus' and continued adherence to these behaviours will remain just as critical through the winter'.

The Government is sticking to its basic advice of telling people to maintain social distancing and to wear face coverings in enclosed spaces

The Government is sticking to its basic advice of telling people to maintain social distancing and to wear face coverings in enclosed spaces


The Government is currently working with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to agree a single set of rules for the festive period.

The plans are expected to include a slight easing of restrictions to allow families to meet up for a specific number of days.

The plans are yet to be finalised but a formal announcement is expected later this week.

Mr Johnson said Christmas would not be 'normal' this year but recognised that 'time spent with loved ones is even more precious for people of all faiths and none' in a period of adversity.

Protecting the NHS and the Vulnerable

During the England-wide lockdown, people who are clinically extremely vulnerable have been told to take 'extra precautions' and to stay at home 'as much as possible'.

The end of lockdown will see the end of guidance to those people not to go to work or school.

Instead, the Government will reintroduce advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable based on which tier area they live in.

On the issue of social care, the Government is planning to act to prevent care home staff unwittingly transmitting the virus by moving between different sites.

Ministers are bringing forward legislation by the end of the year which will require all care home providers to restrict 'all but essential movement of staff between settings'.

Meanwhile, the NHS will be given an additional £205million of support for the winter period, including £80million to bring forward staff recruitment programmes.

The cash is in addition to the £1billion previously announced to help the NHS target a backlog of elective surgeries.

Ministers are hoping the England-wide lockdown will result in a fall in coronavirus hospital inpatients in the coming weeks

Ministers are hoping the England-wide lockdown will result in a fall in coronavirus hospital inpatients in the coming weeks

The above graph shows how the second wave of infections has hit the UK when compared to other European nations

The above graph shows how the second wave of infections has hit the UK when compared to other European nations

Keeping Education and the Economy Afloat

The Government's furlough scheme has already been extended to March next year as Chancellor Rishi Sunak tries to avoid a wave of redundancies over the winter months.

A self-employed income support scheme will remain in place until April while the Government's three main coronavirus business loan schemes will stay open until the end of January next year.

The Government has already spent more than £200billion on propping up UK PLC and that bill is likely to surge in the coming months.

On education, it remains the Government's priority to ensure schools, colleges and universities stay open.

The Winter Plan states: 'The policy in England is that education settings will remain open in all tiers.'

Ministers have promised that all schools and colleges will have access to coronavirus tests so that staff and students can get checked if they are unable to access testing by another route.

Every university in England has been offered access to rapid asymptomatic testing.

It remains the Government's plan for exams to go ahead in England next summer.

Regions get no say in rankings

Communities will not be consulted on which Covid tier they will be placed in – and will have no right of appeal.

The Government will set out a map on Thursday detailing which areas will go into each of the three new tiers of restrictions.

The process, which could decide the fate of some businesses, will be overseen by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and the 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 among those aged over 60; the rate at which local cases are increasing or falling; the number of positive tests per 100,000 people; and the 'current and projected' pressures on the local NHS. However, no economic factors will be taken into account in the decision.

And No 10 did not publish any benchmarks setting out what level of cases would correspond with each tier.

The system will be reviewed every 14 days to assess whether regions remain in the correct tier.

But, unlike the previous tier system, local communities will not be consulted on which restrictions should apply locally.

The decision follows a stand-off between ministers and the mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham last month over whether to place the region into Tier Three.

Downing Street confirmed that communities will have no right of appeal.

.(tagsToTranslate)dailymail(t)news(t)Northern Ireland(t)Scotland News(t)Nicola Sturgeon(t)Wales(t)Christmas(t)Boris Johnson(t)Coronavirus