Johnson Unveils ‘Tougher’ COVID-19 Multi-Tier System Ahead of Lockdown Easing

Johnson Unveils ‘Tougher’ COVID-19 Multi-Tier System Ahead of Lockdown Easing

UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on November 23rd that a new multi-tier system for categorizing areas of the country will be implemented. This is so, as his government continues to plan its next steps in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The system has three tiers, and it will take effect when England emerges from its lockdown on December 2nd. The new system will go into effect even if positive news about several vaccines emerges, including one from Oxford-AstraZeneca which is up to 90% effective.

Here’s how the tiers will look:

Tier 1

  • In tier one areas, six people maximum can meet indoors or outdoors. In tier two, as there is In tier three – the toughest tier – household mixing is not allowed indoors.
  • Bars and restaurants to close at 11 pm.
  • Travel should be minimised and people should work from home where possible.
  • Audience members to be allowed at concerts and spectators to be permitted at sports events with a restriction on numbers.
  • Facilities that provide “personal care” like hairdressers can reopen.

Tier 2

  • There is to be no mixing of households inside and a maximum of six people can meet outdoors.
  • Bars and restaurants to close at 11 pm, but alcohol only to be served with a “substantial meal”.
  • Audience members to be allowed at concerts and spectators to be permitted at sports events with a restriction on numbers.
  • Facilities that provide “personal care” like hairdressers can reopen.

Tier 3

  • Households are not to mix inside or outside, or at hospitality locales.
  • Six people maximum are to meet in outside spaces, such as parks.
  • All indoor entertainment businesses and hospitality companies — unless they provide take-away services — will have to close.
  • Inside entertainment locales to be shut.
  • Guidance will be issued on people travelling in and out of the area.
  • Facilities that provide “personal care” like hairdressers can reopen.

Johnson said the levels will be a “uniform set of measures” with no room for negotiation. Local authorities can also hope to receive increased support from the government, including specially trained officers and new powers to close premises that present a risk.

Johnson will announce which regions of the country fall under which levels later in the week – likely Thursday, the Guardian reported.

The tier system addresses some of the areas that some believe are most critical in order to recover from the economic fallout from lockdowns imposed earlier in the year.

The main purpose of the system is to help bring the UK “safely into the spring”, the BBC reported.

The government’s 64-page Covid Winter plan has been posted on the government’s website.

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