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26 October 2020, 07:06
A fourth tier of Covid-19 restrictions could see restaurants and non-essential shops forced to close.
With coronavirus infection rates still rising across many areas of the UK, the government is reportedly considering bringing in another tier of local restrictions.
Boris Johnson’s current system in England only goes up to Tier 3, with Liverpool and areas of South Yorkshire currently forced to close their pubs and bars.
But according to iNews, the government is now planning a fourth tier to reduce infection rates in areas where tier three has failed to work.
As well as banning households to meet, this could include forcing all hospitality and non-essential shops to close.
The source also told the publication that a ‘tier three plus’ is also under consideration which would also see restrictions tightened.
Other suggestions being discussed include the possibility of short-term local ‘circuit breaker’ lockdowns in a bid to bring the R rate below one.
Reports suggest a decision could be made by mid-November, when there will be enough data to assess how effective the three tier system has been.
This comes after Wales entered a ‘fire break’ lockdown for three weeks until November 9 which means Welsh residents can only leave home for exercise or buying essentials items.
All non-essential shops and leisure and hospitality has been forced to temporarily shut.
Nicola Sturgeon also announced plans for Scotland last week which includes a five-tier system ranging from level zero to four.
Level four will be similar to the full lockdown the UK experienced back in March, with all non essential businesses forced to close.
A 'circuit breaker' lockdown has already been in force in a lot of Scotland for two weeks, with bars and restaurants restricted from serving alcohol and many shut altogether.
In Northern Ireland, they became the first EU country to enter a second COVID-19 lockdown after a nationwide order to stay at home came into force.