The Prime Minister has announced this afternoon that England will return to a tougher version of the regional three tiers of coronavirus restrictions when the national lockdown ends on 2nd December.
The Government’s Covid Winter Plan will come into force after the current national lockdown finishes to help keep the virus under control.
The country is set to return to the three-tier system in effect as it was before the national lockdown, but measures will be strengthened, with more areas expected to be placed into the higher tiers.
Despite the restrictions, due to replace England's national lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also announced:
- Non-essential retail will be allowed to open, in a boost for Christmas shoppers - and the high street
- Gyms will also be allowed to open regardless of tier
- The 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants, which critics claim did more harm than good, will be scrapped in tier one and two
- And a mass testing programme is to be launched In October, South Yorkshire was escalated to the third level of restrictions.
Last week the British Chambers of Commerce called on the UK government to publish its approach to national Coronavirus restrictions in England without delay.
The leading business organisation - which collectively represents over 70,000 firms of all sizes and sectors across the UK employing six million people - is concerned about the lack of clarity over what form restrictions will take after the current lockdown.
BCC called for government to publish its plans with at least one week’s notice before restrictions are set to end next week, allowing firms adequate time to prepare to re-open and trade afterwards.
Providing an initial response to the Prime Minister’s plan for Coronavirus restrictions after the second lockdown ends in England, BCC Director General Adam Marshall said, “It is helpful that the Prime Minister has heeded our call to give businesses at least a week’s notice of the rule changes that will affect firms across England from December 2nd.
“Businesses across England now need to see the detail - and will judge the latest set of Covid rules on whether they are easy to understand and based on clear, transparently-presented evidence.
“They need to know that the new rules will be accompanied by commensurate support, by a significant expansion of mass testing, particularly to workplaces across the country, and by a plan to get the economy fully open again.
“The reduction of time in quarantine for international passengers will help to re-establish connections to key markets and trade partners across the world, helping businesses that depend on the UK's connectivity and preserving industries and livelihoods.
“Ministers can’t simply keep switching businesses on and off like a light switch without expecting severe consequences. Covid-secure businesses will be looking to the government for a plan that keeps them, and the economy, open throughout winter and beyond.”