Social distancing sticker on the floor.

Health Secretary announces new tier system

Speaking to the House of Commons, the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock has set out what tiers areas will fall in after the national lockdown ends on December 2nd.

Mr Hancock set out a promising picture but urged that now isn’t the time to take our foot off the accelerator, but instead we must double down on restrictions that were previously in place.

The 3-tier system remains in place but with slight changes to how strict the rules are. There seems to have been a shift in some aspects from Tier 2 down to Tier 3, for instance pubs are no longer allowed to open in Tier 2 unless serving substantial meals, something previously only applicable to Tier 3.

Tier 2 will apply to the majority of the UK, with very few areas remaining in Tier 1 and a substantial amount of regions moved to Tier 3 in order to flatten the curve further in areas of a high infection rate.

The Government has committed to bi-weekly reviews of the restrictions with a view to move some areas out of Tier 2 and 3 if the data allows it.

The only 2 regions in the lowest Tier are Cornwall and the Isle of Wight.

The postcode checker website crashed within minutes of being launched, with several MPs commenting on this in Parliament.

The Opposition criticised the Government’s policy on statutory sick pay, stating that mass testing was pointless if those testing positive simply cannot afford to self-isolate – something that was mentioned by Keir Starmer 2 weeks ago in PMQs.

The Shadow Health Secretary asked whether this lockdown would be enough to avoid a third lockdown. The Health Secretary confirmed that these measures were designed to hold the tide until a viable vaccine could be distributed throughout the population.

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PSE Oct/Nov 21

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