Boris Johnson Confirms Tier System Will Return After Lockdown Ends Next Wednesday
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Johnson admitted that whilst the tier system had cut down on the number of cases, they did not go far enough in some areas.
The new system will see a unified approach across tiers with added restrictions on even tier one areas, but gyms, grassroots sport, and the hospitality sector will be able to open in some capacity or other as of next Wednesday.
Pubs will also be allowed to serve last orders at 10pm, before closing at 11.
However, Johnson also warned that many areas could see themselves - at least temporarily - placed into higher tiers of regulations at first.
In his speech to the House of Commons this afternoon, the Prime Minister outlined the new structure of the tier system.
In tier one, people should still work from home where it is possible, whereas tier two will mean that only pubs that can serve a substantial meal will be allowed to open.
In tier three areas, hospitality will close for all but takeaway and delivery services, and indoor entertainment venues must also close.
Spectator sports will be able to start once again in tier one and two areas.
The areas into which each region of England will fall into will be announced on Thursday.
Johnson said that he was 'very sorry' to the business owners for whom this still will come as disappointing news.
However, he tried to focus on the positive news of the developments in several vaccine projects, adding that "for the first time since this wretched virus took hold we can see a route out of the pandemic".
He went on to say that the "scientific cavalry is in sight" and added " we know in our hearts by next spring we will succeed".
As for the approaching festive period, Johnson said that whilst it was important to continue 'maintaining the pressure' on the spread of the virus, but said that people would be allowed to see more of their families at Christmas.
He outlined: "In a period of adversity, time spent with loved ones is even more precious for people of all faiths and none,"
However, he warned that we should not compromise that pressure and "throw caution to the wind, allowing the virus to flare up".
He added: "This virus is not going to grant a Christmas truce, it doesn't know it's Christmas."
More to follow.