Matt Hancock announces London, Essex and other Covid-19 hotspots will move to Tier 2 restrictions

15 October 2020, 12:05 | Updated: 15 October 2020, 12:42

Matt Hancock has announced new lockdown restrictions
Matt Hancock has announced new lockdown restrictions. Picture: PA Images/Sky News
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

New lockdown restrictions will be coming into force in London and Essex on Saturday.

The Health Secretary has announced the latest list of areas which will face tougher Covid-19 restrictions this weekend.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Matt Hancock said we must ‘act quickly’ as a country in the local areas where coronavirus cases are rising.

The places which will be moved into Tier 2 ‘High’ level are London, Essex, Embridge, Barrow-in-Furness, York, north-east Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield.

Lockdown changes will come into effect at one minute past midnight on Saturday morning.

Matt Hancock made a speech in the Commons
Matt Hancock made a speech in the Commons. Picture: PA Images

In Tier 2, people from different households are no longer allowed to meet in any indoor space, unless they have formed a support bubble.

Read More: New coronavirus rates show which areas in England could move to stricter Tier 2 and 3 lockdown

This includes homes, pubs and restaurants, however the rule of six still applies in outdoor spaces.

The Health Secretary went on to say no decisions have been made to move any areas into Tier 3 of ‘Very High’ alert so far.

Liverpool and the wider Merseyside region remain the only places in the top Tier.

Mr Hancock said: “I want people to have as much freedom as possible, subject to not harming others.

“But the nature of this virus means that any one of us can inadvertently pass it on without even knowing. That is the liberal case for action.

“We all need to play our part in getting the virus under control again, I know the sacrifices we all have to make, but I know we can beat this together.”

Speaking about London facing the strict new rules, Labour mayor Sadiq Khan said here was 'simply no other option'.

"Nobody wants to see more restrictions but this is deemed to be necessary in order to protect Londoners," he said at London's City Hall.

The London mayor also backed calls by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for a temporary national 'circuit-breaker' over the October school half term to stop the spread of the disease.

Now Read: Government launch official postcode checker to find out which tier you are in