Speaking to the House of Commons on Thursday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “The less any one person passes on the disease the faster we can get this disease under control together and that is on all of us. Hope is on the horizon but we still have further to go so we must all dig deep. The end is in sight, we mustn’t give up now, we must follow these new rules and make sure that our actions today will save lives in future.”
The majority of England has been put under Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions, with only the Isle of Wight, Isles of Scilly and Cornwall, qualifying for Tier 1.
Mr Hancock added: “Thanks to the shared sacrifice of everyone in recent weeks, in following the national restrictions, we have been able to start to bring the virus back under control and slow its growth, easing some of the pressure on the NHS.
“Cases are down by 19 percent from a week ago and daily hospital admissions have fallen seven percent in the last week.
“January and February are always difficult months for the NHS, so it is vital we safeguard the gains we made.”
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This comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned most areas “at least temporarily” will be in the top two tiers.
The measures are expected to be revised every two weeks, with the opportunity for Tier 2 and 3 areas to move out of the stringent restrictions.
The first review will take place on December 16, where areas which have successfully decreased their transmission rate could be dropped down a tier ahead of Christmas.
In a united approach towards the festive season, all four of the UK’s nations will allow three households to form an ‘exclusive bubble’ over a five-day period so families can continue seeing each other over the festive period.
Can I go to a restaurant in Tier 2?
Restaurants can reopen in Tier 2, again, alongside pubs and coffee shops.
Alcohol can also be served in Tier 2 provided it comes with a ‘substantial meal’, according to the Government guidelines.
Pubs which don’t serve food will be forced to remain closed for the duration.
In Tier 2 areas, you will only be able to visit a restaurant with your household, and it will be table service only.
Can I go to a restaurant in Tier 3?
When the lockdown ends on December 2, restaurants in Tier 3 areas will be allowed to continue operating.
However, they can only provide their services via takeaway, delivery, click and collect, and drive through.
Previously, hospitality venues were allowed to stay open if they served substantial meals.
The new, tougher restrictions across all tiers comes after a Public Health England official warned the previous system in place wasn’t working.