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UK lockdown: England to go back into tiered system when lockdown ends

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Lockdown will end on December 2 when the tiered system will come back (Picture: Getty)

England will go back into a three-tier system of restrictions when lockdown ends on December 2, but with stricter rules in place.

Downing Street said that while some measures will be the same as those in the previous system, some tiers will be strengthened to safeguard the gains made during the four-week shutdown.

Boris Johnson is expected to lay out his plan for winter, which includes details on how families can see their loved ones at Christmas, to MPs on Monday.

Ahead of his announcement No 10 confirmed that more areas are expected to be placed in the higher tiers to ensure further restrictions are not needed in the new year.

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It is not clear how different the three-tier system will be from what was in place before the national lockdown.

According to the Mail on Sunday the PM intends to extend opening hours until 11pm on December 2. While last orders will still be called at 10pm, people will get an extra hour to finish drinks and meals.

The Prime Minister is expected to say that he knows the measures are difficult but will make clear they are not to last longer than is absolutely necessary and will take into account the need to support the economy.

The Cabinet is expected to discuss and sign off the plan on Sunday before Mr Johnson announces it to Parliament the following day.

The plan will set out how people will be able to spend their Christmas amid warnings from scientists that easing the rules for too long could result in another lockdown and people ‘burying their loved ones’ in the new year.

Boris Johnson will set out how people will be able to spend Christmas next week (Picture: Getty)

Ministers have made clear that the festive season will be different to normal, with some restrictions expected to remain in place.

However they have hinted that households could be allowed to mix for a number of days between Christmas and the New year.

Earlier, a report in The Telegraph suggested families could mix indoors from December 22 to December 28, but the country may have to live under tough restrictions both before and after the festive period to make this possible. 

The Government will set out what tier each area will be placed into on Thursday, with MPs being given the promised vote to approve the tiering system before it comes into force.

A No 10 spokeswoman said: ‘Everyone’s efforts during the current national restrictions have helped bring the virus back under control, slowed its spread and eased pressures on the NHS.

‘But the Prime Minister and his scientific advisors are clear the virus is still present – and without regional restrictions it could quickly run out of control again before vaccines and mass testing have had an effect.

‘That would put in jeopardy the progress the country has made, and once again risk intolerable pressure on the NHS.’

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