COVID-19: England To Stay In Stricter Tiers Restrictions Ahead Of Christmas

The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said England will enter into a stricter tier until at least March.

During a press conference on Downing Street on Monday evening, Mr Johnson hoped that “things will look and feel very different” after Easter.

The PM announcement comes amid hope of vaccines in early next year.

Johnson believes that by Easter, the most vulnerable people are expected to have been vaccinated.

He warned that there “will be hard” months ahead, “they will be cold, they include January and February when the NHS is under its greatest pressure”

The Minister added, “We’re not out of the woods yet”.

The plan is that England will enter into a new tier system immediately after national lockdown measures from December 2.

The self-isolating Prime Minister said via a video-link that “We can hear the drumming hooves of the cavalry coming over the brow of the hill but they are not here yet. 

“Even if all three vaccines are approved, even if the production timetables are met – and vaccines notoriously fall behind in their production timetables – it will be months before we can be sure we have inoculated everyone that needs a vaccine.’ 

He reminded that “This is not the moment to let the virus rip for the sake of Christmas parties”.

The UK received optimism early on Monday when Oxford University and AstraZeneca said their vaccines proved 70 percent effective in preliminary results.

The vaccine developers believe that effectiveness can be increased to 90 per cent if the right dosing is applied.

Though the Oxford vaccine is considerably cheaper and easier to distribute, Pfizer and Moderna have also assured that their vaccines demonstrated around 95 per cent effectiveness.

Prime Minister confidently assured that “the vast majority of people who need a vaccine will have it by Easter”.

However, Mr Johnson admitted that it is a “huge logistical challenge” but assured that “a large number of partners are coming together to distribute the vaccines”, saying “we are looking at how”.

Mr Johnson says “we are looking at how” and that “a large number of partners are coming together to deliver it”, but admits it is a “huge logistical challenge”.

England is expected to remain in the new strict tier system pending when the vaccines are distributed for use. 

The expected stricter tier will bring more areas under the higher levels of restrictions.

The Different Tiers:

Areas under tier 2 rules mean alcohol may only be served in hospitality settings as part of a substantial meal.

The area under tier 3, pubs and restaurants will remain close but only operates on takeaway and delivery basis. There will be no indoor entertainment; hotels and other accommodation will close.

The government extended the previous curfew for pubs and restrictions for pubs from 10 pm to 11 pm.

Meanwhile, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not finalized the details of the relaxation of Christmas restrictions.

Mr Johnson reacted to a question about an agreement of rules for Christmas across the nation of the UK that “we want people to be able to celebrate, but we don’t want to ruin it by overdoing it”.

“I think there’s a wide measure of agreement about that and I think you can probably expect some news about the way forward pretty soon.”

“I know that many of us want and need Christmas with our families, we feel this year we deserve it. 

“But this is not the moment to let the virus rip for the sake of Christmas parties. 

”This is the season to be jolly, but it is also the season to be jolly careful, especially with elderly relatives.”

During a question and answer, Mr Johnson also responded to Debbie from Buxton’s inquiry about schools that “At the moment we’re not planning to do that,” replies the prime minister. 

He says it is of “huge importance” to keep children in school and it has been “the heart of what we’ve been trying to do over the last few months”. 

What’s happening across Europe: as outlined by Sky.

  • Bars and restaurants have reopened in Catalonia after it became the first Spanish region to close them amid the second wave 
  • Coronavirus cases appear to have slowed in France, with the daily increase in infections decelerating for the fourth day in a row
  • Italy has reported a further 630 coronavirus-related deaths, taking its total death toll above 50,000 
  • Germany appears to be heading towards another three weeks of its “lockdown lite” in an effort to make Christmas gatherings possible
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