Boris Johnson To Confirm On Monday That Lockdown Will End On 2 December
The prime minister will announce the 'Covid Winter Plan' in parliament, confirming that England will return to a regional three-tiered system.
The tiers will be more strict than prior to the lockdown and more regions will be placed in higher tiers.
Johnson will also announce how people will be able to visit family at Christmas.
A No. 10 spokesperson said: "Everyone's efforts during the current national restrictions have helped bring the virus back under control, slowed its spread and eased pressures on the NHS.
"But the Prime Minister and his scientific advisors are clear the virus is still present - and without regional restrictions it could quickly run out of control again before vaccines and mass testing have had an effect.
"That would put in jeopardy the progress the country has made, and once again risk intolerable pressure on the NHS."
SAGE is expected to publish further papers on Monday arguing that the previous tiers were not strict enough and that a tougher regional approach is required.
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On Thursday, ministers will announce which areas will be placed into which tier, which will be based on the latest data and impact of national restrictions. MPs will be able to vote on the tiering system before it comes into force.
These tiers will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and are subject to change based on the latest data and trends.
The Covid Winter Plan - which is due to be discussed and signed off by cabinet tomorrow (Sunday) - will also outline how the government hopes to eventually relax restrictions through mass testing and vaccinations.
The NHS is preparing to administer the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine next month, once it has been approved for use in the UK by regulators, and it will be rolled out more widely in the new year.
The government announced on Monday that it had secured five million doses of the Moderna vaccine, which has been found to be almost 95 percent effective in preliminary tests.
The vaccine will not be available until spring, but the UK also has secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: "We have moved swiftly to secure five million doses of this hugely promising vaccine, meaning we are even better placed to vaccinate everyone who will benefit should the rigorous safety standards be met.
"But we are not there yet. Until science can make us safe, we must remain vigilant and keep following the rules that we know can keep this virus under control."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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