More areas within the East, South East and South West of England will probably be put into Tier 4 to battle the rising quantity of coronavirus circumstances, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has introduced.
The measure is successfully a regional lockdown and will come into drive on Boxing Day in:
- Parts of Essex presently not in Tier 4
- Waverley in Surrey
- Hampshire (aside from the New Forest)
Areas going into Tier 3 are:
- Isle of Wight
- The New Forest
Cornwall and Herefordshire are additionally transferring into Tier 2.
Dr Jenny Harries, one of England’s deputy chief medical officers, mentioned the tiers adjustments had been about “encouraging and tightening our own behaviours” in areas the place folks “stray off course a little bit”.
If locations have to be moved to a better tier once more, Mr Hancock mentioned he could be “prepared to act incredible fast”.
“The current tiers are working,” he insisted. “We’ve all got to take responsibility for our own actions.”
Mr Hancock additionally mentioned two cases of another new, “more transmissible” COVID-19 variant linked to South Africa have been recognized within the UK and will probably be analysed at Porton Down shortly.
“This new variant is highly concerning because it is yet more transmissible and it appears to have mutated further than the new variant that has been discovered in the UK,” he warned.
Anyone within the UK who has been in South Africa previously fortnight or any of their shut contacts have been advised to quarantine instantly – which means they “must restrict all contact with any other person”.
The regulation will probably be modified imminently to present the brand new measure authorized impact.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced the creation of Tier 4 on Saturday – the hardest stage of regional restrictions meant to clamp down on COVID-19 hotspots.
The first areas put into the very best band of measures had been:
- In southeast England: London, Kent, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey (excluding Waverley), Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings
- In japanese England: Bedford, Central Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire and Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring)
Plans to let folks see household and mates over Christmas had been additionally overhauled, with folks in Tier 4 advised they may not meet anybody exterior their family aside from one individual for train.
For everybody else, the “Christmas bubbles” plan was modified to use solely on Christmas Day – as an alternative of the unique 23-27 December.
Questions stay over whether or not Tier 4 will probably be sufficient to cease the expansion of COVID-19.
Prof Neil Ferguson, a authorities adviser whose modelling contributed to the primary nationwide lockdown, mentioned whereas colleges had been closed he had “more confidence” the R quantity – the common quantity of folks somebody with coronavirus passes it on to – might come again beneath 1.
“But we will see really what will happen in the next two weeks,” he cautioned.
“If we – hopefully as we are going to do – see a major decline within the case numbers each of the variant and non-variant it can supply us larger confidence going into the brand new 12 months that possibly Tier 4 is perhaps adequate.
“If we do not, of course we’re in a tougher scenario.”
On Friday, the weekly R quantity rose slightly from between 1.1-1.2 to 1.1-1-3.