Matt Hancock urges Christmas shoppers to avoid Tier 3 areas
The tier system in England was rolled out after the second national lockdown ended on December 2. The Government has now undertaken its first review of the tiers in effect and has moved some regions into the highest coronavirus restriction tier. Express.co.uk has created a map to show which areas of the UK will be in Tier 3 from Wednesday.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock today confirmed London, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire will move into Tier 3 this week.
The announcement today means more than 60 percent of England will be in the toughest tier from Wednesday.
Speaking from the House of Commons, Mr Hancock said: “The virus remains just as dangerous as it has always been.
“The average daily hospital admissions are up, 13 percent.
”The latest figures show that the average daily pieces have risen by 14 percent in the last week, and we’re seeing a sharp rise in South Wales in London, and parts of the east and southeast of England.”
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Which areas will move into Tier 3 from Wednesday, December 16?
The Health Secretary confirmed London, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire will move into Tier 3 this week given the sharp increase in rates of Covid-19 recently.
The areas which will be Tier 3 from 12.01am on Wednesday will include:
- Greater London.
- Essex: Basildon, Brentwood, Harlow Epping Forest, Castle Point, Rochford, Malden, Braintree and Chelmsford, Thurrock and Southend on Sea.
- South Hertfordshire: Broxbourne, Hertsmere, Watford and the Three Rivers local authority area.
Mr Hancock said a new variant may be responsible for the rapid spread of coronavirus across southern regions.
He said: “We have identified a new variant of coronavirus, which may be associated with the fastest spread in the south-east of England.
“Initial analysis suggests that this variant is growing faster than the existing variants.
“We’ve currently identified over 1,000 cases with this variant, predominantly in the south of England, although cases have been identified in nearly 60 different local authority areas, and numbers are increasing rapidly.”
He added the World Health Organization has been notified of the virus and said it was unlikely the variant will be immune to the vaccine.
Mr Hancock said: “must stress at this point that there is currently nothing to suggest that this variant is more likely to cause serious disease and the latest clinical advice is that it’s highly unlikely that this mutation would fail to respond to a vaccine, but it shows we’ve got to be vigilant and follow the rules and everyone needs to take personal responsibility not to spread this virus.”
Tier 3 lockdown: Towns in London, Essex and Hertfordshire in tier 3 [INSIGHT]
Tier 3 rules: How does it differ from Tier 2? [EXPLAINER]
Tier 3 rules: What does Tier 3 mean for London? [ANALYSIS]
What are the rules in Tier 3 areas?
Tier 3 areas are those which are on the very high alert level meaning they have the most concerning rates of Covid-19.
In Tier 3 areas the following rules are in place:
- No household mixing is permitted indoors or outdoors in hospitality venues or private gardens.
- The rule of six applies in outdoor public spaces like parks.
- Pubs or restaurants closed except for delivery and takeaway.
- Indoor entertainment venues will be closed.
- Guidance against travelling in and out of the area.
- Personal care including hairdressing is permitted
- Weddings and funerals can proceed with just 15 and 30 guests respectively, wedding receptions are not permitted.
- Non-essential shops can remain open.
- Leisure and sports facilities, such as gyms, can stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead indoors
- Organised outdoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however, higher-risk contact activity should not take place
- People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are resident in a ‘very high’ area.
- Hotels, B&Bs, campsites and guest houses have to shut
The Health Secretary said the Government’s mass testing will continue to be expanded in a bid to drive down the rate of coronavirus cases.
He said another 67 local authorities will receive community testing this week.
Mr Hancock said this would assist areas to “move down tiers” and return living closer to normal.
He finished his statement by saying that people must not waver “as we enter the final stretch”.
From 12.01am on Wednesday, December 16, the following areas will be in Tier 3:
- Derby and Derbyshire
- Leicester and Leicestershire
- Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
- North East Combined Authority: County Durham, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland
- North of Tyne Combined Authority: Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside, Northumberland
- Tees Valley Combined Authority: Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees
- Blackburn with Darwen
- Greater Manchester
- Kent and Medway
- Slough (remainder of Berkshire is tier 2: High alert)
- North Somerset
- South Gloucestershire
- Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton
- Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
- Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull
Yorkshire and The Humber
- East Riding of Yorkshire
- Kingston upon Hull/Hull
- North East Lincolnshire
- North Lincolnshire
- South Yorkshire
- West Yorkshire.
- All 32 boroughs plus the City of London
East of England
- Castle Point
- Epping Forest
- Three Rivers
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