New 'four tier system' could see whole regions of England on lockdown after December 2

11 November 2020, 11:04 | Updated: 11 November 2020, 11:14

A new lockdown tier system could be implemented
A new lockdown tier system could be implemented. Picture: PA Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

The Government is reportedly considering a simplified regional lockdown system.

Reports have emerged that a new four-tiered coronavirus system could be implemented in England next month.

The country is currently on a four week lockdown, after Boris Johnson warned the NHS would be overwhelmed if Covid cases don’t start falling.

But when the national restrictions come to an end on December 2, sources have suggested the country could return to a new tier system with even tougher restrictions.

The three-tiered system introduced by the Government back in September meant more than a fifth of the country were under the toughest Tier 3 rules, which shut down many pubs and restaurants and banned households mixing.

Huge areas of England could go back into lockdown
Huge areas of England could go back into lockdown. Picture: PA Images

Now, ministers are reportedly considering 'simplifying' the rules so wider areas are covered by the same restrictions, rather than individual cities or towns.

Read More: Are dentists still open during second lockdown?

A source told The Telegraph: “There is a desire to simplify the system, and having lots of different tiers within a relatively small area can be confusing. A region by region approach certainly makes a lot of sense.

“What we are worried about more than anything else is compliance. It would be better to have a good system that everyone followed than a perfect system that everyone ignored.”

There is also the prospect of a fourth Tier being added, which would be very similar to the full lockdown imposed at the moment.

Boris Johnson outlines restrictions for second national lockdown

Another source added to the Telegraph: “It seems likely as things stand that an extra tier will be introduced, whether that is called 'tier four' or 'tier three plus'.

“It would mean we could keep pubs and restaurants closed in the top tier, then areas would come down through the tiers as the infection rates come down."

The insider added that nothing has been decided yet, with ‘discussions still at an early stage’.

This comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday that areas may not be under the same rules they were under before lockdown.

Speaking in the Commons, he said: “The more that we can do to get these infection rates down during lockdown, of course the easier it will be to get out of it and places can get out in lower tiers.”

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