MORE than 20million Brits are being forced into the harshest Tier 3 lockdown measures despite falling Covid rates in their areas.
PM Boris Johnson ramped up restrictions despite data suggesting the R rate is now below 1 — meaning the bug has been kicked into reverse.
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A staggering 20 million Brits are being forced into the harshest Tier 3 measures despite falling Covid rates in these areas[/caption]
Crisis-hit pubs warned the restrictions could kill off four out of five boozers and rip the heart out of local communities. Meanwhile, mutinous Tory MPs threatened to vote against the restrictions when they are put before Parliament next week.
The Prime Minister was bombarded with fire and fury from all sides as he dragged much of England into harsher tiers. But Covid case rates were actually falling in 111 out of the 119 areas being ordered into Tier 3.
This means some 20.7million Brits were hit by the restrictions despite falling rates. From December 2, they will be banned from mixing with other households indoors or going to the pub apart from for “click and collect” orders.
However, thousands of people on the Isle of Wight, in Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly were celebrating after they learned they would be in Tier 1. Professor Tim Spector, the head of one of the UK’s leading Covid surveys, blasted the “excessive” curbs.
He said: “I’m disappointed to see so many regions going into Tier 3 when the latest data suggests symptomatic cases are continuing to fall. Our data shows the UK R value is now below 1 at 0.9, mirroring Office for National Statistics data, and probably reflects voluntary behaviour changes.
“Importantly, the NHS continues to cope even with the addition of winter pressure. These heavy restrictions may have greater costs to public health than benefits. We need to consider more carefully the wider physical, social and mental health implications of excessive mandatory restrictions if they are not justified by the recent data.”
Boris Johnson ramped up restrictions despite the R rate now being below 1[/caption]
Crisis-hit pubs warned the restrictions could discourage four out of five boozers, including those in Tunbridge Wells forced into Tier 3[/caption]
People on the Isle of Wight, in Cornwall were celebrating when they learned they would be in Tier 1[/caption]
LOCKDOWN DID THE BIZ
By Vanessa Chalmers
LOCKDOWN has stalled the virus, with only three out of 150 English local authorities seeing infection rates rise in the past week.
Public Health England data showed they were the only areas where cases per 100,000 went up between November 16 and 22.
In the previous week, at least a third of local authorities were experiencing rising infection rates.
In a boost for Northerners, nowhere north of London had an increase in cases in the week.
Cases in Medway, Kent, jumped by almost 29 per cent, from 323 to 415 per 100,000 people.
Redbridge, in East London, and East Sussex both had infections rise last week but only by about five per cent. And Liverpool’s infection rate dropped by 44 per cent to 146, according to the figures.
‘Stealth and deceit’
Meanwhile, pub bosses warned they face annihilation unless Downing Street throws them a financial lifeline. As many as 30,000 pubs — four in five boozers — could be killed off for good, the British Beer and Pub Association, said.
Pub bosses have accused the Government of imposing lockdown by “stealth and deceit”. They accused the PM and Health Secretary Matt Hancock of “wilfully dealing out certain economic ruin to our pubs”.
A slew of mutinous Tory MPs have threatened to rebel and vote against the lockdown next week. They are furious that areas with low infection rates are being lumped together with nearby Covid hotspots.
Tory MP Greg Clark’s constituency of Tunbridge Wells was forced into Tier 3 along with all of Kent despite having infection rates of just 117 per 100,000. He said: “It is very disappointing. We need to take a more localised approach. The run up to Christmas is very important, to have that blow to trade when the rate of infection is very low is unacceptable.”
He and other Tory MPs in Kent are calling for a meeting with Mr Hancock to demand answers. Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: “Sadly, the latest Covid announcements have succeeded in reducing us all to tiers.”
Tory West Midlands Mayor Andy Street called it “very disappointing” his patch was ordered into Tier 3 and demanded a financial bailout to help firms crippled by lockdown. Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham also demanded more cash.
Tory MP John Penrose, married to Test and Trace chief Dido Harding, even joined the revolt.
Some Tory MPs told they will rebel and vote against the lockdown next week[/caption]
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham demanded more cash to help firms crippled by lockdown[/caption]
Pub bosses accused Matt Hancock of ‘wilfully dealing out certain economic ruin to our pubs’[/caption]
A billboard displays a Manchester City Council message about the national lockdown restrictions[/caption]
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He said it is not “right or fair” that his constituency of Weston- super-Mare, in North Somerset, was placed into Tier 3 just because it is near Covid-hit Bristol.
Tory MP Steve Baker said: “The authoritarianism at work today is truly appalling. But is it necessary and proportionate to the threat from this disease?”
And Greg Smith, Tory MP for Buckingham, which has gone from Tier 1 to Tier 2, said: “We need local decision making, not Whitehall instructions, to give as many people as possible their freedom back, whilst containing this virus in the places where the spread is genuinely very high.”
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