Covid-19: Strengthened tier system for England after lockdown

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

image copyrightPA Mediaimage captionPubs, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops have been closed in England since 5 November, under a second national lockdown

A tougher three-tiered system of local restrictions will come into force in England when the lockdown ends on 2 December, Downing Street has said.

Boris Johnson is expected to set out his plan – including details of how families can see different households at Christmas – to MPs on Monday.

More areas are set to be placed into the higher tiers to keep the virus under control, No 10 said.

And some tiers will be strengthened to safeguard lockdown progress.

It is not yet clear exactly how restrictions could change – but it is understood the 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants will be altered.

Mr Johnson is expected to say that, while last orders must be called at 10pm, people will get an extra hour to finish their food and drinks.

Full details of the so-called "Covid winter plan" are expected on Monday, after cabinet discussions on Sunday.

Some local measures will be the same as those in the previous three tier system, used in England to tackle the spread of coronavirus up until the current lockdown began.

But the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) is expected to publish papers on Monday saying that measures in the previous tiers were not strong enough.

The prime minister will acknowledge that the measures are difficult, while making clear they are not to last longer than is absolutely necessary, and that the need to support the economy is being taken into account.

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