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England is expected to remain under the forthcoming post-lockdown tier system until Easter, The Sun reports.
From 2 December (Wednesday) the country will end the lockdown implemented at the start of this month, with regions entering a new and tougher tier system.
Boris Johnson has reportedly pencilled in Easter Monday (5 April) as the day when this tier system could be lifted, should cases have dropped off as much as hoped.
A senior government source told The Sun: "Boris will not countenance hospitals overflowing like they did in Italy.
"Nor can we get to the stage where we have to cancel operations and treatments. In all likelihood, the tiers have to stay."
National restrictions end on 2nd December across England.
But without sensible precautions, we risk the virus escalating over winter.
So we are returning to a tiered approach, applying the toughest measures where the virus is most prevalent.
More here: https://t.co/KNyBTnoeZa pic.twitter.com/wNd4T9uXu9
- Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 24, 2020
A large number of regions will leave lockdown in a tougher tier than they entered it, with 99 percent of the country in the top two tiers.
However, the prime minister has assured the public that they can expect to be moved down tiers as cases fall.
That said, some scientists fear that cases could soar over the festive period with the introduction of Christmas bubbles, which will allow three households to meet indoors between 23 and 27 December.
"Your tier is not your destiny - every area has the means of escape"
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says "the allocation of tiers will be reviewed every 14 days, starting on the 16th December"https://t.co/2T612JWzzM pic.twitter.com/KzILqQH6X9
- BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) November 26, 2020
The rules state that you can travel to form a bubble of three households, will not have to social distance and can go to places of worship together. But bubbles will not be able to gather in a hospitality setting.
Bubbles also can't be changed or extended further at any point.
Professor Andrew Hayward told BBC Two's Newsnight: "Effectively what this will be doing is throwing fuel on the Covid fire. I think it will definitely lead to increased transmission. It is likely to lead to a third wave of infection, with hospitals being overrun, and more unnecessary deaths.
"We are still in a country where we have got high levels of infection with Covid, particularly in young people. Bringing them together for hours, let alone days, with elderly relatives, I think, is a recipe for regret for many families.
"With the vaccine on the way, if we are not very careful over Christmas we are really in danger of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory on this one."
You can see what tier you will be in from 2 December here.
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