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Discussions continue for new restrictions in England

The government is continuing discussions about furthering stricter measures across the UK to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Zara Tunnicliffe
· 3 min read

The government is continuing discussions about furthering stricter measures across the UK to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Currently, Liverpool is the only region of England that has been placed in the very high tier of restrictions. However, talks in parliament are continuing over the possibility of implementing more stringent rules across the rest of the country. 

From Saturday, London will move into the second-highest tier of restrictions, meaning no households can mix indoors, in addition to the national rule of six and 10 pm pub curfew.

Currently, most of the country is on medium alert, meaning standard national rules apply. After Monday’s announcement of the three-tier system implementation, Greater Manchester and Lancashire are being seriously considered to be placed under the “very high” category of restrictions. 

Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, has argued against placing his area into the “very high” tier. He told the BBC they would rather a short lockdown, or so-called, "circuit-breaker" to be implemented if sufficient financial security cannot be offered. This echoes the views of Labour leader, Kier Starmer. He continued to say that he would be prepared to take legal action if Greater Manchester was placed in the top tier "by imposition, not consent".

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, has said updates about the latest measures will be released in a statement in the Commons later today.

There are concerns amongst MPs surrounding the impacts they could face because of their regions being placed in the “high” to “very high” categories. BBC Radio 4's Today programme asked business minister Nadhim Zahawi whether restrictions would still be put into place even if MPs and leaders objected to the decision. 

Zahawi said, "It's important we look at how we suppress this virus because the alternative is much worse.

"Let's wait and see what the health secretary says to Parliament."

The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, told BBC Breakfast, "The fact is that the government will decide who goes into Tier 3 today," but followed by calling for "economic intervention to support people".

Liverpool having “very high” levels of restrictions comes after their cases are currently the highest in England, with 660 out of 100,000 people testing positive for COVID. These stats are significantly higher than the national average of 89 per 100,000 people with positive cases. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the three-tier system is the "right way forward" and the intention is to "avoid the misery of a national lockdown". The PM has said, however, that further action will be taken if necessary.

Zara Tunnicliffe

Zara Tunnicliffe

Writing has allowed Zara to learn about topics and explore further those that interest her. Zara creates a range promotional copy for events as well as content for a variety of websites and social media platforms. Zara always look forward to researching interesting topics and sharing them with others through her writing.