The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has this afternoon confirmed that a new three-tier system of coronavirus restrictions will be introduced in England.
The country will be divided into three local COVID-19 Alert Levels – ‘Medium’, ‘High” and ‘Very high’. The regional allocation will be decided in relation to the local infection rate.
Johnson stated that today’s decision was part of the government’s plans to simplify the current COVID-19 restrictions that are in place across the country.
The medium level will cover most of England, and includes the current ‘rule of six’ and the 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants. High level areas will mean that the public will be prevented from socialising with other households indoors. However, the current ‘support bubbles’ will remain in place. Very high alert areas will be banned from socialising with other households both indoors and in private gardens. Bars and pubs will also be closed unless they can operate as restaurants.
Residents in each region will also be advised against travelling in and out of their areas unless absolutely necessary.
MPs are set to debate the tier system before it is introduced tomorrow.
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General
Business strongly support the simplification of COVID rules. Greater clarity and consistency will support the huge efforts firms have already made to keep customers and employees safe. Now clear rules are in place, good, open communication is essential. Businesses in the worst-affected areas have too often had to plan on rumour or react last minute, weakening efforts to protect jobs. This can be solved with more collaboration between business, central and local governments. Restoring a sense of national unity is critical for tackling the virus.
To maintain confidence and compliance, Government must show its workings and evidence base for new restrictions. And to help maintain jobs, it should keep financial support under review and in lockstep with the severity of the restrictions. Ultimately, mass rapid testing must really ramp up if we’re to prevent a second wave from further harming economic growth. Every day counts.