Areas in England most likely to go into Tier 4 lockdown restrictions next

A surge in coronavirus cases across England could force more regions into strict Tier 4 lockdown-style restrictions as a new strain of Covid continues to spread across the country.

London, the South East and parts of the East were plunged into Tier less than a week before Christmas after a new variant was detected.

Several other parts of the country now appear to be at risk of the measures, with Bolton, Lincoln, Stoke-on-Trent and Rushmoor, on the border of Surrey, spiking.

It is unclear if these areas will be forced into tougher restrictions before Christmas but a review of where the areas is expected before the year end.

According to Public Health England data, Boston and Lincoln, in Lincolnshire each have around 400 cases per 100,000 people.

Stoke-on-Trent and East Staffordshire, which each have more than 300 cases per 100,000 and Rushmoor, has 335 cases per 100,000.

Worryingly, Rushmoor is only in Tier 2, which means people are allowed to mix with loved ones on Christmas Day, despite it having a higher case rate than several Tier 4 areas.

Boris Johnson had promised Brits a five-day Christmas celebration period with friends and family as a reward for complying with Government restrictions throughout 2020.

The plans were scrapped however on Saturday December 19, when the Prime Minister said the new Covid strain was spreading faster than originally thought.

London, the South East and parts of the East, were then put into Tier 4 from midnight, forcing people to flee Tier 4 areas back home as the rules meant no travel would be permitted past midnight.

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The Government has not said when these restrictions will be relaxed, but Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Brits in Tier 4 "will not be coming out anytime soon."

He told Sky News' Sophy Ridge: "Given how much faster this new variant spreads it’s going to be very difficult to keep it under control until the vaccine’s rolled out.

"We're really got to get this under control and the cases in the Tier 4 areas, as you've seen from the graphs that have been presented, have absolutely rocketed in the last few days.

"We've got a long way to go to sort this. Essentially, we've got to get that vaccine rolled out to get people safe."

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