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.

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

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.

The tiers dictated which shops and businesses had to close

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Redak staff

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