England to be divided into 'medium', 'high', and 'very high' Covid alert areas as Boris Johnson announces three-tier lockdown system

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  • October 11, 2020
  • Comments Off on England to be divided into 'medium', 'high', and 'very high' Covid alert areas as Boris Johnson announces three-tier lockdown system
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England will be split up into “medium”, “high”, or “very high” local Covid-19 alert areas under a new three tier system.

The move comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a telephone conference with Cabinet colleagues on Sunday to discuss the situation. Mr Johnson is expected to announce the move on Monday.

The classification of areas will determine what type of “appropriate interventions” are to be made in them to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Downing Street said the Government is working with local leaders to determine the areas to be covered by the very high alert level, and the measures needed in those places.

Cities in northern England and other areas suffering a surge in Covid-19 cases may have pubs and restaurants temporarily closed to combat the spread of the virus (PA)

Mr Johnson will chair a top level COBR committee meeting on Monday “to determine the final interventions” that he will then announce to Parliament .

MPs will be asked to debate and vote on the measures later this week.

The Prime Minister will also hold a press conference in Downing Street with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty on Monday.

However, some Northern leaders made it clear they are unhappy with the situation.

Sacha Lord, night time economy adviser to the Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, has started legal proceedings to challenge any impending Government restrictions on hospitality and entertainment venues across the north of England.

The interventions will be determined on Monday (PA)

He said: “There is currently no tangible scientific evidence to merit a full closure of the hospitality and entertainment sectors.

“Our discussions and ongoing calls for evidence have been ignored and we have therefore been left with little choice but to escalate the matter further.

“Supported by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, we have now engaged lawyers to begin a Judicial Review into the legality of the emergency restrictions due to be imposed on the hospitality and entertainment sectors.”

Steve Rotheram, the mayor of Liverpool city region, said in a statement that the Government plan to place Liverpool in tier 3.

Coronavirus hits the UK – In pictures

“Whilst we have asked for the evidence to support that decision, none has been forthcoming”, he said.

“Throughout, we have been clear that new restrictions must come with the financial support to protect local jobs and businesses.

“No agreement has yet been reached on this point and negotiations are ongoing. As in all these things, the devil will be in the detail. A deal is not a deal until it is agreed.”

It is not clear what tier London would be placed in (PA)

Before the statement was released, Number 10 said that the Prime Minister spoke to Mr Rotheram on Sunday.

Downing Street said: “They discussed the huge challenge from rising numbers of Covid cases in the region and pledged to work together on combatting the virus.”

The Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson tweeted: “We have not agreed anything, we have been told this is what Government intends to do with ‘no buts’.”

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “Our primary focus has always been to protect lives and livelihoods while controlling the spread of the virus and these measures will help achieve that aim.

“We must do everything we can to protect the NHS and make sure it can continue to deliver the essential services that so many people rely on.

“This is a critical juncture and it is absolutely vital that everyone follows the clear guidance we have set out to help contain the virus.”