Following the latest tier review, more areas across England will move to Tier 4 from Thursday to limit the rise in coronavirus cases.
- The Midlands, North East, parts of the North West and parts of the South West among those escalated to Tier 4, with almost all remaining areas escalated to Tier 3
- Spread of the new variant of COVID-19 is increasing in the South West, Midlands and parts of the North West
Evidence shows the new strain of COVID-19 is increasing in the South West, Midlands and parts of the North West. The majority of the cases identified in London, the South East and the East of England are of the new variant.
Infection rates have increased faster than expected in these areas where the new strain has been circulating and stronger measures are required to get the virus under control.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs the Midlands, North East, parts of the North West and parts of the South West are among those escalated to Tier 4, Sky News reports.
Earlier today, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for use in the UK, with the first doses to be given on Monday. But the PM warned that people should not “in any way think that this is over” as “the virus is really surging”.
Tier 4 restrictions non-essential shops, beauty salons and hairdressers must close, and people are limited to meeting in a public outdoor place with their household, or one other person.
Mr Hancock also said that rising cases across England mean it is “therefore necessary to apply Tier 3 measures more broadly too, including in Liverpool and North Yorkshire”.
In Tier 3 areas, household mixing is banned indoors and in private gardens, while the rule of six applies in public spaces. Shops, gyms and personal care services can remain open, but hospitality settings must close except for takeaway.
All of the tier changes will come into effect at 00:01 GMT on Thursday 31 December.
Get guidance on tier restrictions in your area here.