The Prime Minister will soon announce the rules for the new tier lockdown that will take effect on 2 December.
A full list of tiers by area will be presented today and the Prime Minister will give important announcements at around 5 pm with a Downing Street press conference.
Jonhson to give No10 press conference
Boris Johnson will announce the new tiers today after the full list will be presented to the Commons at 11.30am. Ministers warned Britons will not be happy with the results as the vast majority of England is going into Tier 2 or 3, which means socialising will still be banned.
Tory MPs had been begging the government to introduce tiers on a borough-by-borough basis, amid fears of being put under tough Tier 3 restrictions which would be ‘disastrous’ for hospitality and businesses. Government has confirmed they would not take into consideration a borough-by-borough scheme of tiering. The new tiers will take effect on 2 December when the second national lockdown ends and will last until March apart from a 5-day break over Christmas.
The tiers will be reviewed every two weeks, with the first review on December 16. Health Secretary Matt Hancock will present the full list of tiers by area to the Commons and the Prime Minister had reportedly held a meeting last night to put the list together. Boris Johnson had spent two weeks in Downing Street in self-isolation due to contact with an infected MP.
Rishi Sunak confirmed both the Prime Minister and the Health Secretary will be giving important announcements today and they will bring big changes to the country, compared to the last four weeks. He said: “I know people are frustrated, of course, it’s frustrating living under restrictions… The Prime Minister will be doing a press conference later, the Health Secretary will be making a statement in Parliament later as well. We have a Cabinet meeting later this morning to go over these things and finalise them. But people will see a tangible change, wherever they are, compared to the last four weeks.”
How do they choose which tier?
Ministers have confirmed the method they use to choose which tier each area is placed in. The Joint Biosecurity Centre works with PHE, the NHS and government to study new infections, positivity rates and pressure on the NHS. They combine all these factors and their public health advice goes to the Chief Medical Officer and Ministers in the Local Action Committee and COVID Operations Committee. The final decisions are made by Boris Johnson at the COVID Operations Committee.
In the first place, ministers and officials monitor specific data, including analysis of total cases in the area and across all age groups, an analysis of cases among the over-60s will then be considered separately as the cases among older people are more serious. They would monitor the R rate changing in a particular area (e.g. how fast infections are spreading), the percentage of those tested in local populations who are found to have covid (e.g. cases per 100,000) and they would also analyse the pressures on the local NHS.