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Boris Johnson unveiled a new three-tier system of local lockdown measures in England yesterday, with tier-one indicating a “medium” alert level, tier-two “high” and tier-three “very high”. The alert level will coincide with local infection rates. Tier-three will see areas face restrictions similar to those introduced at the start of the pandemic.
But England’s Chief Medical Officer has said the tier-three rules are “not sufficient” on their own to limit the spread of coronavirus, and suggested extra measures could be introduced.
Professor Whitty said: “I am not confident, and nor is anybody confident, that the Tier 3 proposals for [areas with] the highest rates – if you did the absolute base case and nothing more – would be enough to get on top of it.
“And that is why there is a lot of flexibility in the Tier 3 level for local authorities… to actually go up that range so they can do significantly more than the absolute base.”
“Because the base will not be sufficient, I think that’s very clearly the professional view. But there are quite a lot more additional things that can be done within that, with local guidance.”
The highest alert level will see people banned from socialising with other households both indoors and in private gardens, while bars and pubs will be closed unless they can operate as restaurants.
Local politicians will then decide if gyms, betting shops, casinos, hairdressers and beauty salons should also close.
Non-essential shops, schools and universities will remain open throughout.
Tier-two bans the mixing of households indoors and restricts meetings in private gardens to two households, as long as the rule of six and social distancing guidelines are adhered to.
Tier-one sees the continuation of current guidelines, which includes the 10pm curfew for bars, pubs and restaurants and the rule of six.
MPs will debate and vote on the measures today and the new tiered system will come into effect on Wednesday at 5pm.
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7.46am update: UK unemployment rises to highest rate in more than three years
Britain’s unemployment rate rose by more than expected to 4.5 percent in the three months to August, up from 4.1 percent in the three months to July.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected the unemployment rate to rise more slowly to 4.3 percent.
The number of people in employment fell by 153,000 in the June-to-August period, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
That was much higher than a median forecast for a fall of 30,000 in the Reuters poll.
The ONS data showed redundancies jumped by a record 114,000 on the quarter to 227,000, their highest level since 2009 when Britain was in the grip of the global financial crisis.
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