Tier 4: UK warned 'not to ignore' new restrictions by expert
Boris Johnson is expected to announce a new coronavirus Tier 4 for London and the southeast of England today. The exact details of the Prime Minister’s plan will be confirmed at a Downing Street briefing at 4pm. Although the higher restrictions appear to apply only to specific areas, BBC Political Correspondent Nick Eardley has warned that they could be extended.
He told BBC News: “There is a real concern in Government and in the scientific community about a new version of the virus, which has been particularly transmitting in the southeast of England.
“The expectation is that this will mean that this new Tier 4 is introduced as soon as this weekend.
“I should say, if you’re outside London and the southeast of England, don’t ignore this.
“I know that there are discussions going on in Scotland as well about whether new restrictions are needed in response to this new variant of the virus.”
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Mr Eardley continued: “The Cabinet in Wales is meeting as we speak as well to discuss the latest development after a four-nation call this morning.
“But the headline at the moment is that there will be a new higher tier, Tier 4 restrictions, coming in in London and the southeast of England.
“It is likely to have a big impact on people in the capital and the surrounding areas when it comes to Christmas.”
The BBC Political Correspondent warned that the new level is likely to involve things like the closure of non-essential retail.
Lockdown: Expert outlines what Tier 4 restrictions may mean
He added that there could potentially be restrictions on travel as well.
It is expected that the new rules will apply from this weekend to London and the southeast of England at least.
BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg also tweeted that the Prime Minister is expected to “cut back on the planned relaxation of the rules over Christmas”.
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London, Kent and Essex areas had already been moved into Tier 3 this week as a result of rising coronavirus cases.
Matt Hancock told the House of Commons that this quick spread may be linked to a “new variant” of the virus that has been identified.
The Health Secretary revealed that the initial analysis suggested that this variant is growing faster than the existing strain.
Most of the cases currently identified with this variant have predominantly been in the south of England.
However he assured that there was nothing so far to suggest that it is more likely to cause serious disease.
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