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Lockdown will come to an end for the second time next week, as the Government goes ahead with plans to let the current restrictions expire on December 2. Officials will allow non-essential shops and other businesses to reopen for the first time in a month, just in time for people to prepare for Christmas 2020. But some conditions will remain to prevent a further buildup of cases in the winter months.
What time does lockdown end on December 2?
Boris Johnson announced England’s current lockdown would come to an end next week on December 2.
To avoid confusion, the Government has opted to repeal the rules the second the new day begins.
Many people can enjoy their new freedoms from 12.01am on Wednesday, December 2, but it will depend on their area’s tier status.
While blanket restrictions come to an end at 12.01am, the newly revamped tier system comes into effect at the same time.
The Prime Minister announced the same number of tiers would return, placing communities under a minimum of one and maximum of three.
But officials have toughened up the measures as people exit lockdown for Christmas.
The post national lockdown system means little will change on December 2 for some people.
Even under the least invasive “medium” lockdown, people have to follow the rule of six, follow an 11pm pub and restaurant curfew, minimise travel and work from home.
Tier two is now the “high” tier, which bans household mixing indoors and adds alcohol limits to tier one.
Tier three remains the highest, now “very high” it bans mixing of any kind in indoor venues or gardens.
Pubs and restaurants in this tier must close unless for delivery, along with indoor entertainment venues, and people should not travel.
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The Prime Minister said meaningful restrictions imposed by the tiers would remain until at least next year.
Officials hope to have vaccinated everyone by April 2021, and repeal the tier system by March.
The current plans will carry the tiers through Christmas, but ministers have proposed people use their “judgement” on the day.
Mr Johnson, who imposed lockdown before Eid al-Adha and Diwali this year, said “all faiths” would “need” Christmas.
He added the Government would allow people to make their own judgements for the holiday this year.
He said: “I can’t say that Christmas will be normal this year, but in a period of adversity time spent with loved ones is even more precious for people of all faiths and none.
“We all want some kind of Christmas; we need it; we certainly feel we deserve it.
“But this virus obviously is not going to grant a Christmas truce… and families will need to make a careful judgement about the risks of visiting elderly relatives.”
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