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Covid-19: Strengthened tier system for England after lockdown

A tougher three-tiered system of local restrictions will come into force in England when the lockdown ends on 2 December, Downing Street has said.

Boris Johnson is expected to set out his plan – including details of how families can see different households at Christmas – to MPs on Monday.

More areas are set to be placed into the higher tiers to keep the virus under control, No 10 said.

And some tiers will be strengthened to safeguard lockdown progress.

It is not yet clear exactly how restrictions could change – but it is understood the 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants will be extended.

Mr Johnson is expected to say that, while last orders must be called at 10pm, people will get an extra hour to finish their food and drinks.

Full details of the so-called “Covid winter plan” are expected on Monday, after cabinet discussions on Sunday.

A No 10 spokeswoman said: “Everyone’s efforts during the current national restrictions have helped bring the virus back under control, slowed its spread and eased pressures on the NHS.

“But the prime minister and his scientific advisers are clear the virus is still present – and without regional restrictions it could quickly run out of control again before vaccines and mass testing have had an effect.

“That would put in jeopardy the progress the country has made, and once again risk intolerable pressure on the NHS.”

Some local measures will be the same as those in the previous three tier system, used in England to tackle the spread of coronavirus up until the current lockdown began.

But the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) is expected to publish research on Monday saying that measures in the previous tiers were not strong enough.

The prime minister will acknowledge that the measures are difficult, while making clear they are not to last longer than is absolutely necessary, and that the need to support the economy is being taken into account.



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