Tougher COVID-19 tiers may come in when England lockdown ends, govt adviser warns

 Tougher COVID-19 tiers may come in when England lockdown ends, govt adviser warns

England may face tougher tiered restrictions to help stop the spread of coronavirus when the national lockdown ends, a government adviser has revealed.

Dr Susan Hopkins suggested that regional rules around social mixing and which businesses must close could be “strengthened” in some areas to help keep COVID-19 cases low.

The epidemiologist and interim chief medical officer of Test and Trace revealed concerns around the limited effects of Tiers 1 and 2 – the lowest and medium threat levels.

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A Covid alert level sign in Liverpool after Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out a new three-tier system of alert levels for England following rising coronavirus cases and hospital admissions.

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Regions were all placed into one of three tiers with different restrictions

Attention has already turned to what will replace the national lockdown, due to end on 2 December, particularly as families contemplate how they can celebrate Christmas during a pandemic.

Another 21,363 infections and 213 deaths were reported across the UK on Monday.

Road sign indicating essential travel only due to the Covid-19 lockdown

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England’s national lockdown will end on 2 December

Speaking at a Downing Street briefing, Dr Hopkins said Tier 3 – the highest level, which areas like Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Yorkshire were living under – had “had an effect” in reducing cases.

But of Tier 2, which London was in, she said it “seems to hold in some areas and not so well in others” – and that this depended on how quickly coronavirus was spreading and on the level of people’s compliance.

But on Tier 1, Dr Hopkins was blunt – saying: “We see very little effect.”

Overall, she predicted all tiers could be toughened to keep coronavirus suppressed as the country heads into winter.

A man wearing a face mask in Manchester city centre as the row over Greater Manchester's coronavirus status continues.

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The tiers dictated which shops and businesses had to close

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Redak staff

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