Prime Minister unveils 'three tier' lockdown system for England ahead of more restrictions in Scotland
The Prime Minister has unveiled his “three tier” lockdown system for England ahead of more restrictions in Scotland.
Boris Johnson today insisted Britain was becoming "better and better" despite the infection rates rising across the UK.
In a sombre statement to the Commons, he explained the new tier system, which will see areas of England put into "medium", "high" and "very high" alert levels.
The very high alert level, or tier three, will apply to areas considered the most at risk, and will see social mixing banned both indoors and in private gardens.
Pubs and bars will also be forced to shut in the very high alert level areas unless they can operate as a restaurant.
It is believed that pubs and bars can remain open under Tier 3 - if they can operate as a restaurant.
That would mean serving alcohol will be banned unless it comes with a meal.
People who live in the areas will also be advised against travelling in and out, but will not be legally banned from leaving.
Under a high alert level, or Tier two, household mixing would be banned indoors but support bubbles will still be allowed.
Areas listed as medium, or Tier One, will be subject to the same rules currently in place in England, namely the rule of six and the 10pm hospitality curfew.
While the measures only apply in England, the PM suggested similar measures would come in across the UK.
He said: "While these levels specifically apply to England, we continue to work closely with the devolved administrations to tackle this virus across the whole United Kingdom."
Earlier today Nicola Sturgeon explained that “at a strategic level”, she would be looking to align the system as closely as possible with the other UK nations.
“Though I would stress that operational decisions about which tiers might apply in which parts of our nations will be for each of us to take at a devolved level,” the First Minister added.
Scotland’s First Minister did not give any further details about what a Covid-19 tier system might look like in Scotland, but explained that a new system could be implemented to coincide with the end of the current restrictions on 25 October.
In a blow for those hoping for a vaccine immediately, Mr Johnson also admitted one “ cannot be taken for granted”.
He said today: "The weeks and months ahead will continue to be difficult and will test the mettle of this country.
"But I have no doubt at all that together we will succeed.
"This is not how we want to live our lives but it is the narrow path we have to tread."Responding to the announcement, the leader of the Labour party Sir Keir Starmer questioned whether the PM had a plan.He said: “I am now deeply sceptical that the Government has actually got a plan to get control of this virus, to protect jobs or regain public trust.
"We have tried to give the Prime Minister the benefit of the doubt, but it increasingly feels like the Prime Minister is several steps behind the curve and running to catch up with a virus that he has lost control of long ago.”Mr Johnson will expand further on the measures at a press conference later today.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.