Boris Johnson has set out the Government’s latest restrictions to combat the ongoing coronavirus crisis, which will begin when England exits national lockdown on December 2.
The new system consists of a “tougher” version of the regional three-tiered system that was in place before the latest lockdown, and is set to remain in place until the end of March next year.
Non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers, and other businesses will be allowed to reopen, and the so-called ‘rule of six’ will once again apply to gatherings.
In tier 1, the rule of six will be the same indoors and outdoors, while in tiers 2 and 3 household mixing will only be allowed outdoors.
Live audiences will be allowed to return to gigs, sporting events and business events in tiers 1 and 2, with the government introducing ‘spectator capacity limits’ which will vary depending on whether the event is held indoors or out.
In tier 1 this will be 50% capacity or 4,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors, whichever is lower. Tier 2 will shrink the outdoor capacity to 2,000, with events banned entirely in tier 3.
There is also an adjustment to the 10pm curfew previously imposed on pubs. They must now stop serving at 10pm, but will be able to remain open until 11pm in order to stagger departure times and prevent crowding.
Addressing the House Of Commons today (November 23), Johnson said: “This will be, still, a hard winter. Christmas cannot be more than a long road to spring, but we have turned a corner and the escape route is in sight.”
The allocation of tiers to regions will be done later this week, as well as further details on the government’s plans to allow expanded household mixing around Christmas.
Tier positions will be reviewed every 14 days, and will be based on five criteria: case numbers across all age groups; cases in those aged over 60; the rate of rise or fall in infections; the percentage of those tested who have the virus; and current and projected pressures on the NHS locally.