Prime Minister Boris Johnson will give a speech to the nation today on the state of coronavirus in the UK, following a House of Commons address to MPs. Mr Johnson is expected to announce the implementation of a three-tier system with stricter lockdown measures for areas of concern.
This afternoon the Prime Minister will unveil his plans to MPs in the House of Commons, before later addressing the nation.
The Commons statement is expected at around 3.30pm, with the nationwide press conference at approximately 6pm.
The announcement comes after weeks of cases spiking across the country and the implementation of local lockdowns in areas of concern.
Areas in England will be labelled as medium, high or very high risk, which will, in turn, prompt the “appropriate interventions” needed in each area.
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And level three conditions will be put in place when level two measures have not contained the virus or there has been a rise in transmission.
Level three will see pubs and restaurants closed, travel restrictions in place and no household mixing.
Areas expected to be placed under level three conditions are the North West and North East.
In Merseyside, which is one area expected to be subject to the most stringent Tier 3 controls, local leaders have been fighting for an enhanced package of financial support for businesses hit by the new measures.
Manchester is resisting moves which would mean the closure of pubs and bars, arguing it should be placed in the less restrictive Tier 2 category.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden denied ministers had been “panicked” into imposing economically damaging new measures at a time when deaths from COVID-19 were relatively low compared to the start of the pandemic.
While he said he hoped controls would be able to be eased, he acknowledged they may be required to remain in place until Christmas and beyond.
Mr Dowden told Sky News: ”The purpose of doing this is to ensure we get the virus under control so by the time that we get through to after Christmas we are in that position where it is under control
“Indeed I hope it will be sooner than that.”