October 30, 2020, 15:38

Coronavirus in UK: Boris Johnson’s New Three-Tier Restrictions System Explained

Coronavirus in UK: Boris Johnson’s New Three-Tier Restrictions System Explained

Coronavirus in UK: Boris Johnson’s New Three-Tier Restrictions System Explained
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Amid rising cases of coronavirus across the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out the new system which would be introduced to deal with the differing levels of the outbreak across different regions of the country.

UK Prime Minister announced the new coronavirus lockdown system for England on Monday, putting different regions of the country under separate levels of restrictions depending on outbreak severity.

The three-tier or “traffic light” policy will be based on rates of infections in certain areas.

  • Tier 1: The medium level will apply to the majority of England England and be based on current rules – no gatherings above 6 and 10pm closing time for pubs.
  • Tier 2: The high alert level will include those currently under restrictions. The Prime Minister said those in these areas will not be able to mix with other households indoors. These regions include Nottinghamshire, east and west Cheshire, as well as a small area of High Peak.
  • Tier 3: The very high alert level will include the strictest measures for the places worst hit by the virus. Household mixing will be banned entirely and all pubs and bars will be forced to shut.

​Johnson said that the government has agreed to place the Liverpool city region immediately into tier 3. Gyms, leisure centre, betting shops, and casinos will also be closed.

The Prime Minister said the other areas falling under Tier 3 restrictions remains a possibility and that not acting would be “unforgivable”.

The measures will come into force Wednesday after being debated and voted on tomorrow. 

‘Unprecedented’ Support Scheme Expansion

The prime minister also pledged a further £1bn in financial support for local test and trace and local enforcement, as well as expanding the existing wage and business safety net.

Citing Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the government will “expand its unprecedented economic support to assist those affected by these decisions” as well as extending the job support scheme “to cover two-thirds of the wages of those in any business that is required to close, and providing those businesses with a cash grant of up to £3,000 a month, instead of £1,500 every three weeks”.

The deployment of the armed forces to support local services will also be an option if requested by local authorities.

Second Wave

The Prime Minister also announced the measure by clarifying that the ‘R’ rate of infection was currently between 1.2 and 1.5 while its natural level is between 2.7 and 3, meaning the virus has effectively been suppressed. 

However, he said that the rules must go further as more people are in hospital than when the UK first introduced a full lockdown on 23 March and deaths are rising.

He also claimed that permitting the virus to move through the younger population was not an option either due to the velocity of the virus, which would see older people hit too.

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REUTERS / UK PARLIAMENT/JESSICA TAYLORBritain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks on during a PM’s statement session on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the House of Commons, in London, Britain September 22, 2020.

The Prime Minister said that the “bleak mathematics” of that allowing the disease to spread through the country unrestricted would cast many deaths, as well as an overwhelmed NHS.

Sir Keir Starmer says he is “deeply sceptical” that the new measures will be effective and is not convinced that the PM has a strategy to deal properly deal with the pandemic.

The Labour leader said that public confidence in the government has been eroded and asked why he thinks the new rules would get the virus under control.

He also asked if local authorities would have control over the test and trace system and if the prime minister would support local businesses due to being forced to shut.

​Jeremy Hunt, the chair of the Commons health committee, claimed that evidence from China indicates that early local interventions are the most effective.

The announcement follows a similar policy set out by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to be introduced in Scotland in alignment with the UK.

As of Monday, the UK recorded 13,972 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. A higher rate from yesterday (12,872) and the same time last week (12,594), but remains low than some days last week.

50 further deaths have also been recorded, a decline of 15 from Sunday figures.

Sourse: sputniknews.com

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