Leaked Document Lays Out New Three-Tier Lockdown System Including Potential Closure Of Pubs
A leaked government document reveals plans for a new three-tier lockdown system that could be introduced in England, where further restrictions may include pubs closing and a ban on people mixing outside of their own households.
According to the Guardian, the 'Covid-19 Proposed Social Distancing Framework' has not yet been signed off by No. 10, but lays out tougher measures the government is considering imposing if coronavirus cases continue to rise, while also attempting to simplify the mixed bag of localised restrictions.
"Research tells us that people would welcome a clearer and simpler structure to the advice and rules that they should follow," the document says.
It adds that 'many people do not have a clear understanding of the rules that apply to them'.
The draft document, seen by the news outlet and dated 30 September, outlines a series of alert levels of varying severity, with level three being the highest.
Alert level three contains the strictest set of measures - which are also tougher than any we've seen in any localised lockdowns.
These include: closure of hospitality and leisure businesses; no social contact outside your household in any setting; restrictions on overnight stays away from home; and no organised non-professional sports permitted or other communal hobby groups and activities, such as social clubs in community centres.
However, places of worship can remain open, while there is no mention of schools.
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The Guardian reports that under alert level two, people must not meet others outside of their household in private dwellings or gardens - apart from people within their support bubble - or in pubs, restaurants or others settings.
Visiting care homes will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances and people should only travel if it is essential, although holidays are allowed as long as people do not mix households.
Organised sports teams will be allowed to meet, while weddings are limited to 15 attendees with no reception, and funeral numbers cut from 30 to 15 people.
Alert level one, meanwhile, contains restrictions currently in place across England, including the 'rule of six' measure for all gatherings, compulsory face coverings, a 10pm curfew for hospitality businesses and limited numbers at weddings and funerals - which allow no more than 15 and 30 attendees, respectively.
As for when and how these alert levels would be activated, according to the leaked document alert level three would be triggered 'in geographical areas or nationally when alert level 2 measures have not contained the spread of the virus, or where there has been a significant rise in transmission', and alert level two would come into force 'in geographical areas or nationally when there has been a rise in transmission, which cannot be contained through local responses'.
A government source told the Guardian that the document was an 'early draft and proposals are still being considered by ministers'.
A Department of Health spokesman said: "We are seeing coronavirus cases rise at a rapid rate across the country and, given how serious this virus is, it is vital everyone plays their part by following the rule of six, washing their hands, practising social distancing and wearing a mask in enclosed spaces.
"As we have shown, we are prepared to take action decisively when it is necessary, and it is of course right to look how we make sure everyone understands and complies with the restrictions that will keep us all safe."
Downing Street declined to comment when approached by LADbible.
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