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Boris Johnson Announces new “three-tier” Lockdown Over COVID-19 Surge

Boris Johnson has unveiled his new “three-tier” system to try and stop the surge in coronavirus cases.

The Prime Minister has revealed a new gauge called “local covid alert levels” in a bid to simplify lockdown measures in England.
The idea is to standardise local rules after a patchwork of measures across the country made local restrictions increasingly hard to explain and enforce.

The alert levels are classified as Medium, High or Very High.
Mr Johnson announced that:

Medium: Will cover a significant part of the country and consists of the national measures that came into force last month, such as the rule of six and the 10 pm hospitality curfew.

High: Aims to reduce household-to-household transmission by preventing all mixing between households indoors. The rule of six will still apply outside.

Most areas that are already under local restrictions are expected to automatically move to this level. Support bubbles will still be permitted.
Very High: These are the tightest measures for the areas of greatest concern, where transmission is rising “most rapidly”. Measures will prohibit social mixing indoors and in private gardens. Pubs and bars will be closed unless they can operate as a restaurant, it is understood. People will also be advised against travel in and out of the areas, according to PA.

Retail, schools and universities will not close at all levels.
Announcing the new system, Mr Johnson said the Liverpool City Region was being put on the “very high” Covid alert from Wednesday, with gyms, leisure centres, pubs and betting shops to close.

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He said there would be a four-week “sunset clause” for interventions in very high areas with measures kept under review.
Mr Johnson also told the Commons that the number of covid-19 cases had quadrupled in the last three weeks and there were more people in the hospital now with the virus than when the country went into lockdown in March.

He acknowledged the public’s impatience but he said letting the virus rip would lead to an “intolerable death toll” with doctors and nurses unable to attend to other health problems.
He said: “This is not how we want to live our lives, but this is the narrow path we have to tread between the social and economic trauma of a full lockdown and the massive human and indeed the economic cost of an uncontained epidemic.

“With all the lessons we have learned in the last few months, we’re becoming better and better at fighting this virus.”
Nick Forbes, the Labour mayor of Newcastle city council, said on Twitter the north-east of England was being put into Tier 2 or “High”.

Sheffield City Region mayor and Labour MP Dan Jarvis said on Twitter: “Just spoken to Matt Hancock who confirmed South Yorkshire will be in Tier 2.
“We cannot afford this without additional support – otherwise we will languish in local restrictions with no clear way out. We’ve put a plan to the government and are awaiting more details. Will update asap.”

MP for Birmingham Edgbaston Preet Kaur Gill also confirmed the city will be in Tier 2 on the new alert system, following the briefing call with Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

She tweeted: “More than 45 minutes notice for the call would be appreciated next time though Matt!”
It comes after a stark warning from the government’s scientists this morning that there had been a “marked pick-up” in coronavirus cases which will result in more deaths.

Nightingale hospitals in coronavirus hotspots are also being “mobilised” ahead of a potential surge in admissions.
Meanwhile, further restrictions for London may be announced within days as the number of Covid-19 cases in the city hit more than 7,700 a week.

Mr Johnson will also host a televised press conference this evening alongside chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
Microsoft News

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