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Matt Hancock Announces Many More Areas To Enter Tier Three

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Matt Hancock Announces Many More Areas To Enter Tier Three

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that some areas will move out of Tier Three restrictions in England, but many other places will enter the highest level of restrictions.

As was widely expected, much of the North of England will remain under the toughest restrictions, including Greater Manchester, Lancashire and the North East.

Only Bristol and North Somerset will move down to Tier Two, while Herefordshire will move to Tier One.

Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, the entirety of Hertfordshire, Surrey - with the exception of Waverley - Hastings and Rother, Portsmouth, and Gosport and Havant will move into Tier Three.

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Tier Three restrictions prohibit meeting people outside your household indoors or outdoors in private spaces, however groups of six can meet in outdoor spaces such as parks at a safe distance.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

It also means that hospitality venues can only serve via takeaway or delivery.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham had previously said that there was a 'clear case' for his region to enter Tier Two, however he admitted to feeling 'less and less hopeful' that it would happen.

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He added that 'the evidence would support' a relaxation of the restrictions and that requiring hospitality venues to close at this time of the year would create 'a substantial risk of many more gatherings in the home... and that is where most of the virus spreads'.

The leader of Preston City Council Matthew Brown said that he was 'gravely concerned' about the impact on the hospitality sector, but added: "While case numbers in Preston and throughout Lancashire remain high, especially in the over 60s, it is unlikely that we will be placed into tier two before Christmas."

Boris Johnson appealed to the British public yesterday (Wednesday 16 December) to downscale their Christmas celebrations this year in a public message yesterday, despite allowing for a relaxation of the rules between 23-27 December.

The Prime Minister encouraged people to 'think hard' about whether they should meet friends and family, but stopped short of actually changing the government's position at all.

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He said that while plans are to keep the law the same, 'a smaller Christmas is going to be a safer Christmas and a shorter Christmas is a safer Christmas'.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

He also advised people not to travel from 'high prevalence' areas to those with lower rates of coronavirus. Again, he didn't explicitly change anything with regards to the rules that are in place allowing three households of any size to meet in England over those five days.

England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty added: "Just because you can do something doesn't mean it's sensible in any way."

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He added: "Any kind of period where people come together in groups that otherwise wouldn't meet leads to an increase in risks and that will lead to an increase in hospitalisations and deaths."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, Politics

Tom Wood
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