New lockdown rules could use 'traffic light' system, leaked document shows

Rules surrounding the coronavirus in England could be moved to a three-tier ‘traffic light’ system, according to a leaked document.

They would aim to simplify the current state of local lockdowns around the country, so each area would know whether it was in Level 1, 2 or 3.

The levels could be applied either nationally or in local areas.

Level 1 (or ‘green’ as it has been unofficially dubbed) would see things remain as they are at the moment, with the ‘rule of six’ in place. At the other end of the scale, Level 3 would see shops and pubs closing and all social contact between different households banned.

The document, seen by the Guardian, is named the ‘Covid-19 Proposed Social Distancing Framework’ dated September 30.

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It has not yet become policy and could be amended.

The paper said that Level 3 would include stricter measures than those seen so far in local lockdowns, but would not go as far as the lockdown in March where schools were closed.

The new document does not mention schools, but the prime minister has made clear that closing them again will be a last resort.

Level 3

  • Closure of hospitality and leisure businesses.
  • No social contact outside your household in any setting.
  • Restrictions on overnight stays away from home.
  • No organised non-professional sports permitted or other communal hobby groups and activities, such as social clubs in community centres.
  • Places of worship can remain open.

Level 2

Level 3

The document, marked ‘official – sensitive’, has not been finalised, according to a source, and the measures particularly in Level 3 could be subject to change.

It says that ‘research tells us that people would welcome a clearer and simpler structure to the advice and rules that they should follow,’ adding that ‘many people do not have a clear understanding of the rules that apply to them’.

The number of cases across the UK is rising. Today, a further 22,961 positive cases were recorded in the past 24 hours – bringing the total number of UK cases to over 500,000.

Downing Street did not want to comment but a government source told the paper that the document was an ‘early draft and proposals are still being considered by ministers’.

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