Some areas in Tier 3 ‘could have restrictions eased’ before Christmas, MP says

Brits could get a festive boost as hopes are raised that Tier 3 areas might have rules eased before Christmas.

Ministers are seeking to see off a growing Tory revolt after Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed that 99% of the country will face tough rules after lockdown.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said on Friday that there is “every reason” to expect some areas to be moved into lower tiers following the first two-week review of the system.

When the national lockdown ends on December 2, each area of England will have to adhere to local restrictions that are similar to – but stricter than – the original tier system from October.

As England battles the second wave of coronavirus experts decided that only three areas will be allowed into Tier 1, which sees the loosest restrictions.

Only Cornwall and the isles of White and Scilly have been put into Tier 1, with the majority of England being plunged straight into ‘high risk’ Tier 2.

Swathes of the north and midlands, including Yorkshire, Lancashire, Blackpool and Birmingham – as well as Kent and Berkshire in the south, have been put under Tier 3.

But Mr Jenrick said this morning Brits can expect to see movement in the tiers, raising hopes that some will see relaxed restrictions before Christmas.

  • Tier 1, 2 and 3 shopping rules and updates from Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Aldi

He told Sky News : “At that point we – advised by the experts – will look at each local authority area and see whether there is potential to move down the tiers.

“There were a number of places which were quite finely balanced judgments where they were on the cusp of different tiers. Those are the places that are more likely to be in that position.”

Some 32 million people in England – just over 56% of the population – will be in Tier 2, including Liverpool and London.

And nearly 42% – 23 million people – will be in the top level, infuriating some MPs who say their constituencies have already suffered due to the national lockdown.

  • Marks & Spencer reverses plan to open Boxing Day this year so staff can be with families

Some have threatened to vote down the tiers when they are presented to the Commons next week to be made into law.

Sir Graham Brady, chair of the powerful 1922 Committee of backbenchers told BBC Radio 4 he would vote against the measures.

He fumed: "I do think that the policies have been far too authoritarian.

"I think they have interfered in people's private and personal lives in a way which is unacceptable."

Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said the previous tier system did not manage to decrease the infection rate enough.

he said: “The message is that the tiers worked in terms of slowing but didn’t work in terms of flattening and reversing it.

“The national lockdown looks as if it has flattened it and is sending it downwards and it is important we do bring it down because numbers remain high.”

Sir Patrick said one in 85 people in the country have coronavirus at the moment, numbers which he said were “very high”.

Source: Read Full Article