Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirms three tier coronavirus lockdown plan for England
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed England will be placed into three tiers of coronavirus lockdown from Wednesday.
England will be placed into “medium”, “high” and “very high” alert levels under the new restrictions, Mr Johnson has just announced in the House of Commons.
Areas listed as medium will be subject to the same rules as those which currently apply across the country, such as the rule of six and the 10pm hospitality curfew.
In the high alert level, which will apply to most of the areas already subject to restrictions, household mixing will be banned indoors. Support bubbles will still be permitted, however.
The very high alert level will apply to areas causing the most concern, and social mixing will be prohibited indoors and in private gardens.
Pubs and bars will be closed in the very high alert level areas unless they can operate as a restaurant. People will also be advised against travel in and out of the areas.
Local leaders will help determine whether other venues should be closed – such as gyms or casinos in very high alert level areas. A four-week sunset clause will apply to the restrictions.
Schools, non-essential retail and universities will remain open in all levels.
A postcode checker will be launched on the Government’s website to advise people what guidance applies to their area.
Each local authority area will be placed in a local Covid alert level by the end of Monday, Downing Street said.
The Prime Minister told the Commons: “Left unchecked, each person with the virus will infect an average of between 2.7 and 3 others, but Sage assesses that the current R nationally is between 1.2 and 1.5.
“So we are already suppressing that R to well below its natural level, which is why the virus is not spreading as quickly as it did in March. But we need to go further.
“In recent months we have worked with local leaders to counter local spikes with targeted restrictions, but this local approach has inevitably produced different sets of rules in different parts of the country that are now complex to understand and to enforce.”
Mr Johnson added that he does not believe a full lockdown would be the right course.
He said: “And of course, there are those who say that on that logic, we should go back into a full national lockdown of indefinite duration, closing schools and businesses, telling people again to stay at home as we did in March. Once again shattering our lives and our society.
“I do not believe that would be the right course. We would not only be depriving our children of their education, we would do such damage to our economy as to erode our long-term ability to fund the NHS and other crucial public services.
“And on the other side of the argument, there are those who think that the patience of the public is now exhausted, that we should abandon the fight against Covid, stand aside, let nature take her course and call a halt to these repressions of liberty.”