Lockdown restrictions are now affecting more than 17 million people around the UK which equates to around a quarter of the population. A new three-tier traffic light system is being planned for England. But what is the three-tier plan and how will it work?
Local lockdown restrictions are currently in effect across several parts of the UK.
At least 17 million people are now facing additional restrictions in addition to the national rules in effect across the UK equating to roughly a quarter of the British population including:
- 12.7m people in England, or 23 percent of the population
- 2.4m people in Wales (76 percent)
- 1.8m people in Scotland (32 percent)
- 151,000 people in Northern Ireland (Eight percent).
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Leaked documents seen by the Guardian outline a three-tier lockdown system is being planned for England, with leaked Government documents paving the way for potential harsher restrictions.
These restrictions would include the closure of pubs and a ban on all social contact outside households.
The traffic-light plan is designed to simplify the current local lockdown process which now covers a quarter of the UK.
The plans also outline how stricter measures could be imposed by the Government locally or nationally to stem the surge in coronavirus cases.
The three-tier plan for local lockdown measures in England outlines how the plan would work.
A Whitehall source said the levels were intended to be “minimum standards” and specific local circumstances would also be taken into account.
The first tier
The “green” tier is the first alert one which represents the rules which most of the country has been adhering to since early September.
This includes the following rules relating to social contact:
- The rule of six
- Childcare bubbles where required, to enable consistent childcare
- Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies with only 15 attendees permitted
- Funeral up to 30 attendees only
- Significant event gatherings are limited to 15 people only.
- Support groups are permitted for up to 15 people only.
- Mass events are banned
- Organised sport is only allowed outdoors.
- Visiting indoor hospitality/leisure/retail settings under rule.
Various rules are also in effect concerning businesses:
- All sectors permitted to open can remain so as long as they are covid-secure
- Face coverings are mandated for all workers in indoor hospitality venues
- Customers must be kept apart when seated
- A curfew must be in place at leisure and entertainment venues.
- Food and drink venues will be table service only
- More stringent COVID-19 secure guidance and enforcement should be in place and working from home should be encouraged where possible.
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The third tier
The red alert third tier is the most serious and contains tougher measures than seen so far in any of the local lockdowns.
- The social contact restrictions in place include:
- No social contact outside your household in any setting
- Restrictions on overnight stays away from your home
- Places of worship can remain open
- No organised non-professional sports permitted or other communal hobby groups or activities are allowed.
In addition to the measures in effect for both the previous levels, hospitality and leisure businesses must close.
What is not included in the draft document seen?
The leaked document and proposed lockdown tiers make no mention of schools.
A Government source said this is because Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it is a priority to keep classrooms open.
The plan was published as a technical glitch meant almost 16,000 cases or coronavirus went unreported due to a technical glitch.
Public Health England said 15,841 cases between September 25 and October 2 were left out of the UK daily case figures.