Following a scientific briefing earlier today, in which Prof Van Tam clearly demonstrated how Covid infections are rising nationally, he stressed that there is a “a massive collective responsibility on every citizen now to play their part in defeating this virus and getting it back under control”.
In the same briefing, Prof Stephen Powis National Medical Director of NHS England, announced two further measures; introducing regular testing for NHS staff in high risk areas even when they don’t have symptoms and mobilising the Nightingale hospitals in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate to prepare to accept patients in the next few weeks.
Against this backdrop, the Prime Minister announced the following three tier system of local Covid alert levels this afternoon.
- will cover most of England
- current national measures apply including
- the Rule of Six indoors and outdoors and
- closure of hospitality at 10.00pm
- reflects the interventions currently being made at local levels
- primarily reducing household transmission by preventing all mixing between households or support bubbles indoors
- the Rule of Six will continue to apply outdoors, including public spaces and private gardens
- those in local restrictions will automatically be in the High alert level, with Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire and a small area of the High Peak moving into this level
- will apply where transmission rates are rising most rapidly
- the government baseline will be prohibiting social mixing indoors and in private gardens and closing pubs and bars
- the government will work with local government leaders on additional measures that will be taken, potentially affecting hospitality, leisure, entertainment or personal care sectors. Retail, schools and universities will remain open
- the Job Support Scheme and cash grants are designed to support those businesses asked to close and funding and resources will be given to affected local authorities
- Liverpool City region will move into this category from Wednesday. In agreement with local authorities, as well as pubs and bars, gyms and leisure centres, betting shops and adult gaming centres and casinos will also close
- Other areas in discussion with the government are North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humber
The regulations will be debated tomorrow before coming into force on Wednesday. We will update our website, once the regulations are published.
Useful links: PM’s statement to the House of Commons.