Johnson sets out details of tougher tiers to replace England's lockdown

Covid-19 alert system in England

Covid-19 alert system in England

Tier 2: No mixing indoors, apart from support bubbles.

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told members of parliament (MPs) "an escape route is in sight" as he announced a raft of new measures for when the country's national COVID-19 lockdown ends on December 2.

Tier One simply asks for residents to work from home where possible; Tier Two will restrict establishments unless they serve food; and Tier Three will close all hospitality services except for takeaway, and indoor entertainment venues will also close. "It was inevitable we would return to the tiered system but the government has learnt lessons from what has gone well and not so well previously and adjusted for that".

He confirmed that the four-week national lockdown in England will end on Wednesday December 2 and will be replaced by a new three-tiered system.

In areas classed as high risk, which is tier 2, will be allowed up to 2,000 fans or 50 percent of the stadium's capacity, depending on which number is lower.

"We need to make sure we bring the virus down, not just flatten it", he said.

"But the next few weeks and months will for many feel like purgatory - stuck in limbo between a national lockdown and a new normal".

Mr Johnson said: "From next Wednesday, people will be able to leave their home for any goal and meet others in outdoor public spaces, subject to the rule of six, collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume, and shops, personal care, gyms and the wider leisure sector can reopen".

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It comes at a cost, however, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirming passengers who arrive from a destination not on the government's travel corridors list can reduce the 14-day period by paying for a test from a private firm after five days at a cost of £65-£120.

Mr Johnson said people will be allowed "to see more of their family and friends over Christmas", though he did not announce details.

He warned that it is "not the moment to let the virus rip for the sake of Christmas parties", saying: "Tis the season to be jolly, but it is also the season to be jolly careful, especially with elderly relatives".

Downing Street sources confirmed that the full details of the Christmas plan will be announced later this week, possibly as soon as Tuesday, once it has been signed off by the devolved administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales as part of a UK-wide approach.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that events in the lower two tiers would be able to resume "with capacity limits and social distancing".

The prime minister's short-term plan revolves around mass rapid testing following a trial in the city of Liverpool which the government said had led to a "substantial fall" in cases. Instead, contacts will be able to take a test every day for a week and will only have to isolate if one of those tests returns a positive result, The Telegraph reported.

Regions under Tier 3 will face the toughest restrictions, and all councils in the most severe tier will be offered mass testing programs. These tests produce COVID-19 test results in 30 minutes and are created to be carried out on every single member of a local population.

"The most hopeful advancement of all is how vaccines are now edging ever closer towards liberating us from the virus, demonstrating emphatically that this is not a pandemic without end".

The RFU are yet to decide whether they will seek to admit fans to the final of the Autumn Nations Cup at Twickenham on December 5, with a maximum of 2,000 likely to be permitted as London will nearly certainly be in Tier 2 or Tier 3.

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