Matt Hancock urges Christmas shoppers to avoid Tier 3 areas
Matt Hancock, speaking in the House of Commons this morning, said he must report to MPs that “across the world cases are rising once more”, citing Europe, the US and Japan. He added: “No one wants tougher restrictions any longer than necessary, but where they are necessary we must put them in place to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed and to protect life. This is a moment where we must act with caution.”
London, Essex and parts of Hertfordshire were upgraded from Tier 2 to Tier 3 this week.
Now even more areas are going into Tier 3 from Saturday, including Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, Hertfordshire and Surrey (with the exception of Waverly).
Hastings and Rother, Portsmouth, Havant and Gosport will also enter Tier 3, Mr Hancock said.
Bristol and North Somerset go intoTier 2 while Herefordshire will into Tier 1.
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The change in restrictions for the capital came as a result of increasing infection rates in the vast majority of the country’s boroughs.
London is now in the top three places in the UK carrying the highest infection rate.
However, the Government has been slammed by some for imposing more stringent measures only to be relaxed again in a few days as households are allowed to mix for Christmas.
Which areas are in Tier 3 now?
Mr Hancock said Covid-19 can be a “silent disease” and says one in three people carrying the virus is asymptomatic.
He added: “The best thing we can all do is to act with responsibility to get this virus under control.”
The Health Secretary said the Government is “further expanding” its testing programme, with the vaccine roll out accelerating fast as more than 200 immunisation sites open up.
Speaking to the Commons, Mr Hancock the vast majority of Tier 3 areas won’t see any real change.
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He did, however, confirm Bristol and North Somerset would be moving down from Tier 3 to Tier 2 on Saturday.
Herefordshire will join the Isle of Wight, Isles of Scilly and Cornwall as it’s moved down from Tier 2 to Tier 1.
Mr Hancock confirmed Tier 3 will apply to a number of areas from midnight on Saturday, December 19.
It comes after the Health Secretary said cases in the south east had increased by 46 percent, while hospital admissions had increased more than one third.
Parts of Essex and Hertfordshire were moved into the top Tier on Wednesday following “a sharp rise in cases”.
Tier 3 restrictions will be introduced to:
- Surrey (except for Waverley)
- Hastings and Rother
You can find the Government’s full list of Tier 3 areas here.
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