The Speaker erupted at the Government as the postcode tier checking system was made available to the public before Parliament received an official update on the tier system set to come into effect on December 2. Sir Lindsay Hoyle has repeatedly clashed with Boris Johnson and his ministers during the pandemic as they announced updates on the coronavirus strategy before allowing MPs to discuss the proposed changes. The Speaker demanded the Government “respect the Chamber” as he expressed his delight at noting the checking system had crashed within minutes of its publication.
He continued: “It might be that we do get the statement first but it is not acceptable.
“I do say, once again, in the strongest terms, this House should hear it first.
“We’re elected to hear it first, and they should give the respect that this House deserves.”
The website allowing Britons to check which tier their areas would be put under from December 2 was published an hour before Health Secretary Matt Hancock delivered an official statement confirming the allocation of the new restrictions.
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Matt Hancock said the compliance to the lockdown Britons have shown over the past 28 days will allow the Government to ease restrictions from December 2.
But he confirmed the majority of England will be placed under Tier 2 and Tier 3, with residents facing a mid to high range of restrictions and businesses still seeing their activities greatly limited.
Mr Hancock said: “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.
“We will do this by returning to a regional tiered approach, saving the toughest measures for the parts of the country where prevalence remains too high.”
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The Health Secretary added: “While all three tiers are less stringent than the national lockdown that we’re all living in now, to keep people safe and to keep the gains that are being made, more areas than before will be in the top two tiers.”
Only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have been placed in the lowest Tier 1 set of restrictions, with people in all other parts of England set to face more serious limits to their freedom.
Large swathes of the Midlands, North East and North West are in the most restrictive Tier 3, but London will be in Tier 2.
Liverpool, which had been in Tier 3 before the lockdown, will move to Tier 2 in recognition of efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.