Lockdown 2.0 will end next week, following a month of rigorous national guidelines.
A new 56-page COVID Winter Plan, which Boris revealed to the House of Commons today, the national lockdown will be replaced by a new “tougher” version of the previous tiered system of restrictions.
From the 2nd December:
- Non-essential shops, hairdressers, gyms and leisure facilities reopen.
- Collective worship, weddings and all outdoor sports can resume, following to social distancing advice.
- The “rule of six” will return – meaning people will no longer be limited to seeing only one other person in outdoor public spaces.
- The 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants will be extended to 11pm, with last orders at 10pm.
In Tier 1 areas, people will be asked to work from home where possible.
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In Tier 2 areas, pubs and bars must close unless they are serving substantial meals along with alcoholic drinks.
In Tier 3 areas all pubs, bars and restaurants must close except for delivery, takeaway and drive-through. Hotels and indoor entertainment venues must also close in these areas.
The PM said he expected to be able to announce later this week which areas of England will be in which tier – a highly anticipated decision that will be based on local infection rates and pressures on hospitals.
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One big development, and for the 1st time since March, sports fans will be allowed back into stadiums in areas with the lowest cases of coronavirus.
In Tier 1, 50% capacity or 4,000 spectators – whichever is lower – will be allowed in outdoor venues, with a maximum 1,000 indoors.
In Tier 2, 50% capacity or 2,000 spectators – whichever is lower, will be allowed in outdoor venues, with a maximum 1,000 indoors.
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Travelling abroad for holidays is allowed once again from 2nd December, although they will remain subject to quarantine rules.
The prime minister told MPs that his winter plan “is designed to carry us safely to spring“, while he said the “scientific cavalry is in sight” as he praised advances in testing, treatment and vaccines.
“By the spring these advances should reduce the need for the restrictions we have endured in 2020 and make the whole concept of a Covid lockdown redundant,” Mr Johnson said.
The prime minister is also this week expected to set out how families across the UK might be able to gather at Christmas.
However, he told MPs: ” I can’t say that Christmas will be normal this year, but in a period of adversity, time spent with loved ones is even more precious for people of all faiths and none.
“We all want some kind of Christmas, we need it, we certainly feel we deserve it.
“But what we don’t want is to throw caution to the winds and allow the virus to flare up again, forcing us all back into lockdown in January.”