Boris Johnson confirms three-tier system of local lockdowns for England

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Boris Johnson has announced a three-tier series of local lockdowns for England in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Areas will be ordered into "medium", "high" and "very high" alert levels under the system, the Prime Minister confirmed in the House of Commons.

Those living in a medium-alert area will live with current national restrictions, including the 10pm curfew on hospitality and the Rule of Six.

Under high alert, household mixing indoors will be prevented, and the Rule of Six will apply outdoors.

In areas deemed very high risk, pubs and bars will be required to close unless they can operate as restaurants, along with gyms.

There will be a ban on households mixing indoors and in private gardens, and no non-essential travel will be permitted outside the affected areas.

Overnight stays in other areas will also be banned.

England has witnessed a dramatic rise in Covid-19 cases in the past several weeks, with hospital admissions and coronavirus-related deaths also increasing.

The PM said: "Left unchecked, each person with the virus will infect an average of between 2.7 and 3 others, but Sage assesses that the current R nationally is between 1.2 and 1.5.

"So we are already suppressing that R to well below its natural level, which is why the virus is not spreading as quickly as it did in March. But we need to go further.

"In recent months we have worked with local leaders to counter local spikes with targeted restrictions, but this local approach has inevitably produced different sets of rules in different parts of the country that are now complex to understand and to enforce."

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Earlier today, the UK's top medical experts revealed there are now more Covid-19 patients in NHS hospitals in England than there were before the UK went into full national lockdown back on March 23.

The startling statistic was unveiled at a scientific press briefing held at Number 10 Downing Street on Monday morning, October 12.

Stephen Powis, National Medical Director for NHS England, said: "We now have more patients in hospital with Covid-19 than we did before the government announced restrictions on March the 23rd in the spring [when Britain entered full national lockdown]."

He added: “In the over 65s and particularly in the over 85s, we are seeing a steep rise in the number of people being admitted to hospital.

"So the claim that without taking further action, the elderly can somehow just be fenced off from further risk, I'm afraid is proving to be wishful thinking."

It was also revealed that the number of Covid patients in intensive care in the north west and north east of England has increased seven-fold in the last four weeks.

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One senior Tory earlier warned the nation needs to “brace” for the new rules.

They told Politico: “This is the moment where we enter the next phase.

“It’s going to be really hard to stomach, it’s going to go on for some time, and if people don’t follow the rules then we may have to go further still.

“People in all areas of the country should be under no illusion, we are back to where we were in March, this is going to be sh** and it may get sh***er yet.”

On October 11, England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam said the UK was at a “tipping point”.

Van-Tam warned the worst is yet to come unless we “all act now”.

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The UK recorded 12,872 more coronavirus cases and 65 deaths on October 11.

This marked a slight fall from the previous day, which saw 15,166 cases and 81 deaths.

The hospitality industry is launching a last-ditch effort to save Britain's pubs and bars with a legal battle against lockdown.

Some of Britain's biggest brewers are among the organisations challenging the government's tightening of lockdown restrictions, saying there is not any "tangible scientific evidence" that closing venues halts the transmission of coronavirus.

The British Beer and Pub Association, the nation's trade body representing brewers and pubs, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) and brewers Joseph Holt and JW Lees, have put their names to the challenge.

  • Boris Johnson
  • Coronavirus

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