Prime Minister Reveals New Three-Tiered Approach To Tackling Coronavirus Outbreaks
Addressing Parliament, the Prime Minister outlined three levels labelled 'Medium', 'High' and 'Very High', explaining how each stage will incorporate different sets of rules depending on how severe the situation is in the given area.
Saying that restrictions have previously been 'complex' to understand and enforce, Johnson said: "We will now simplify and standardise our local rules by introducing a three tiered system of local Covid Alert Levels in England - set at Medium, High and Very High."
The Medium alert level will 'cover most of the country' and consist of the 'current national measures', including the Rule of Six and the closure of hospitality venues at 10pm.
The High alert level 'reflects the interventions in many local areas at the moment', Johnson said, adding: "This primarily aims to reduce household-to-household transmission by preventing all mixing between different households or support bubbles indoors.
"In these areas, the Rule of Six will continue to apply outdoors, where it is harder for the virus to spread in public spaces, as well as private gardens."
Johnson said most areas which are already subject to local restrictions will automatically move into the High alert level, along with Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire and a small area of High Peak - all areas facing rising numbers of cases.
"The Very High alert level will apply where transmission rates are rising most rapidly and where the NHS could soon be under unbearable pressure without further restrictions," Johnson continued.
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"In these areas the government will set a baseline for prohibiting social mixing indoors and in private gardens - and, I'm sorry to say, closing pubs and bars."
Additional restrictions for regions with a Very High Covid Alert Level would be discussed with local leaders.
Following reports earlier today, Johnson confirmed that Merseyside would be one of the regions placed into the 'Very High' bracket.
Alongside pubs and bars, Johnson confirmed that gyms and leisure centres, betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos will also close. The restrictions in Liverpool will come into force on Wednesday (14 October).
He is also due to host a Downing Street press conference later today.
Featured Image Credit: PA