Everything We Know About The New 'Strengthened' Coronavirus Tier System

Chris York
·2-min read

As Christmas approaches and the weather turns ever bleaker, Boris Johnson will on Monday outline the coronavirus restrictions that look set to govern lives in England during the winter months.

The PM is expected to announce a strengthened three-tier system of local restrictions to replace the current national lockdown that ends on December 2.

This is everything we know about that new tier system...

What was the original three tier system?

Johnson announced the original three-tier strategy in October, which splits different areas of England into medium, high and very high alert levels.

Areas in the first tier – medium alert – were subject to the same national measures which were in force at the time across the country including a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants and a ban on most gatherings of more than six people.

Under the second tier – high alert – household mixing was banned indoors while the rule of six continued to apply outdoors, PA Media reports.

Tier 3 – very high alert – banned social mixing both indoors and in private gardens, while pubs and bars were told to close unless they could operate as a restaurant.

Local leaders were to help determine whether other venues should be closed, such as gyms or casinos, in very high alert level areas.

But the system faced criticism as not being strong enough to reduce the spread of the virus.

People wearing face masks walk down Market Street, Manchester.
People wearing face masks walk down Market Street, Manchester.

Why was the tier system criticised?

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the toughest tier of restrictions was “a gateway to weeks and weeks, more likely months and months, of agony from which there’s no likely exit”.

Local leaders also complained that once an area was placed in Tier 3 it was not clear what it had to do to get out of it.

The British Medical Association (BMA) also said that the previous system was “inadequate” and did not contain the spread of the virus.

Will England’s lockdown definitely end in December?

The government has emphasised that it wants to see England exit its four-week lockdown on...

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