Johnson to confirm end date for England virus lockdown

A member of staff displays a lateral flow immunoassay diagnostic device which shows the presence of SARS-CoV-2 before it is used on the public at Rhydycar leisure centre in Merthyr Tydfil Wales Saturday Nov. 21 2020. where mass coronavirus testing

Covid-19: Strengthened tier system for England after lockdown

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced plans for strict regional measures to combat COVID-19 after England's lockdown ends December 2, sparking a rebellion by members of his own party who say the move may do more harm than good.

Prof Semple's comments come as the prime Mmnister is expected to tell MP's that although national lockdown will end on December 2, England will return to a tougher version of the regional three tiers of coronavirus restrictions.

"Nationally we are seeing cases in the community fall and in those areas that went into Tier 3 before lockdown we are already seeing the tide turning with the number of hospital admissions and we will shortly see the deaths reduce as well".

More details of the so-called COVID Winter Plan are expected on Monday in a speech to the House of Commons, after Cabinet discussions on Sunday which Johnson will be conducting virtually as he continues to self-isolate following contact with an MP who later tested positive for COVID-19.

Downing Street said more areas are expected to enter higher tiers next month and those tiers will be strengthened to safeguard the gains made during the four-week lockdown. MPs will be able to vote on the tiering system before it comes into force.

The NHS is preparing to administer the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine next month, once it has been approved for use in the United Kingdom by regulators, and it will be rolled out more widely in the new year. "Restrictions should be removed immediately if it can not be shown that they are saving more lives than they cost".

"Obviously that's something that we would like to do and it's been a hard year for all of us, but as I said it's not going to be a normal Christmas this year". The second tier barred people from meeting indoors with anyone from outside their household.

There are reports that the 10 PM curfew for bars and restaurants could be extended by an hour.

Now Johnson plans to tighten those measures.

The government put England under a four-week lockdown that started November 5.

The government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) is expected to publish research on Monday saying that measures in the previous tiers were not strong enough. That decision came after public health officials warned that an exponential rise in new coronavirus infections was threatening to overwhelm the National Health Service as the winter flu season approached.

"We are especially concerned about outside sport, the 10pm curfew, closure of non-essential retail, gyms and personal care businesses, restrictions on worship, care home visits, hospitality and the inclusion of children under 12 in the "Rule of 6". It also banned most social gatherings but schools remain open.

New known cases of COVID-19 have started to drop across the United Kingdom, with the number of positive tests during the past seven days falling 13.8% from the week before.

In the seven days leading up to November 16, there were 1,243 cases of Covid-19 recorded across the county, with the region's highest rate of infection being in South Norfolk, 195.9 cases per 100,000 people.

On Friday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock declined to say whether restrictions would be further relaxed to allow families to gather over Christmas.

People should "keep up the pressure on this virus and push down on it as much as we can right to the end of the period (of lockdown)", he said.

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