The Liverpool City Region might be on the “very high” Covid alert degree from Wednesday, Boris Johnson has introduced.
Confirming new three-tier restrictions, the PM mentioned pubs, bars and betting outlets would shut on Merseyside.
Most areas of England might be on “medium” alert, with measures such because the rule of six, however areas with native restrictions on family mixing are routinely on “high” alert.
The PM mentioned all stores, faculties and universities would stay open.
It got here after England’s deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, mentioned development in Covid circumstances was a “nationwide phenomenon” and that “things are heating up” in areas past northern England.
Mr Johnson, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty are holding a Downing Street information convention.
The new system is break up into three alert ranges: medium, excessive and really excessive. Most areas in England are within the medium alert degree – which means present restrictions proceed, together with the 10pm hospitality curfew.
Areas already below extra native restrictions are routinely within the excessive alert degree – which means bans on family mixing indoors are prolonged to incorporate hospitality venues.
Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire and a small space of High Peak now come into this class, in addition to Greater Manchester, elements of South Yorkshire, and north-east England. Around 4.Four million individuals might be in excessive alert areas.
The Liverpool City Region – dwelling to 1.5 million individuals – turns into the primary space to enter the very excessive alert degree, with the closure of pubs and bars. Betting outlets, gyms, leisure centres and casinos can even shut within the area. Household mixing might be banned anyplace indoors and outside, together with in personal gardens.
Restaurants can proceed to commerce in very excessive alert areas – together with pubs and bars that may function as one – whereas individuals can even be suggested in opposition to travelling to and from these zones.
Go additional or gone too far?
Some will say ministers ought to have gone additional, whereas others argue they’ve already gone too far.
But the issue with the restrictions which might be being mentioned is that nobody actually is aware of what impression they are going to have.
Closing Covid-secure pubs, for instance, might simply drive individuals to assemble extra in properties, the place the chance of transmission is even better.
The different issue, which isn’t grabbing the headlines for the time being however is simply as necessary, is whether or not the take a look at and hint system is as much as the job.
Test outcomes are taking too lengthy to return, contact tracers are failing to achieve sufficient of the shut contacts of contaminated people and even after they do most individuals don’t comply with the isolation tips to the letter.
Infections, hospitalisations and deaths are actually going to rise. By how a lot and for the way lengthy is the massive unknown.
Certainly with higher therapies in place and the UK in a stronger place to guard care properties – 4 in 10 deaths had been amongst their residents within the first wave – many consider the toll shouldn’t be as nice because it was within the spring.
Boris Johnson advised a Downing Street information convention the rising variety of coronavirus circumstances was “flashing at us like dashboard warnings in a passenger jet”, including: “We have to act now.”
Speaking earlier within the House of Commons, he mentioned: “This is not how we want to live our lives but this is the narrow path we have to tread between the social and economic trauma of a full lockdown and the massive human, and indeed, economic cost of an uncontained epidemic.”
The PM mentioned round £1bn of “new financial support” could be offered to native authorities in England with additional monetary assist for native take a look at and hint and native enforcement in very excessive alert areas.
Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer mentioned: “The question today is whether the restrictions announced by the prime minister can bring the country back from the brink.”
Prof Calum Semple, an infectious illness knowledgeable and adviser to the federal government, advised BBC Radio 4’s PM programme the brand new restrictions had come too late and a brief nationwide lockdown may very well be wanted in weeks.
The British Medical Association, which represents docs, mentioned new native measures are “treating the ‘symptom’ not the cause” of accelerating infections and known as for a nationwide prevention plan.
By Ellie Price, political correspondent
As he launched the brand new three-tier system for England, questions and criticisms got here at Boris Johnson from all sides and spotlight his problem.
Since March, Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer has lent his broad assist to authorities restrictions. But within the Commons he accused the PM of being “several steps behind the curve” and questioned whether or not the measures “can bring the country back from the brink.”
There had been quite a few questions on whether or not the federal government may very well be extra beneficiant in its monetary assist for companies affected.
And from Conservative MPs, some mentioned people must be left to make their very own choices, whereas others mentioned more durable measures wanted to be imposed now.
Labour mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson advised the BBC “we agree with the government having to impose tougher restrictions” however he added that an argument for a stronger monetary package deal for town “wasn’t listened to”.
Liverpool City Region metro mayor Steve Rotheram mentioned the realm’s restrictions had been “comparable” to the nationwide lockdown in March – however with out the identical degree of economic assist.
Some areas of northern England have had extra restrictions on family gatherings for the reason that finish of July.
Meanwhile, London Mayor Sadiq Khan mentioned regardless of the capital being on the medium alert degree, its standing might “change very quickly – potentially even this week” and transfer into a better degree.
The three-tier alert system applies solely to England, with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in command of designing and implementing their very own coronavirus restrictions.
An extra 13,972 confirmed coronavirus circumstances had been reported on Monday, with 50 extra deaths inside 28 days of a constructive take a look at recorded.
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