Lockdown is ending - but what are the new Covid rules?
- Credit: PA
England will face tiered coronavirus restrictions until the end of March. As the lockdown ends on December 2, more parts of the country are expected to be placed into higher tiers than they were before the national restrictions were imposed.
Boris Johnson also said the new tiers would be tougher than their predecessors, after Government scientific advisers said the previous regime did not do enough to tackle the virus.
So what will the Government’s Covid Winter Plan mean?
Which restrictions will be lifted?
From Wednesday December 2, shops, gyms and personal care services will be able to reopen.
Weddings and outdoor sports will be able to resume and the restriction limiting people to meeting one person from another household in outdoor spaces will end with a return to the rule of six.
Spectator sport will also return in Tiers 1 and 2 - with restrictions on capacity and with a requirement to follow social distancing. However venues will remain closed to spectators in areas under Tier 3.
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What about pubs and restaurants?
Hospitality venues will be able to reopen to guests in Tier 1 and 2, although they will be limited to table service, and those in Tier 2 will only be able to serve alcohol with “substantial” meals.
The 10pm curfew will be eased, with last orders at 10pm and an hour’s drinking-up time.
However in Tier 3, pubs and restaurants will be restricted to deliveries and takeaways only and other indoor entertainment venues will remain shut.
Will people be able to travel?
Yes. Holidays will be permitted. In Tier 1 the stay home message is being lifted although people will still be encouraged to minimise their movements and to work from home where possible.
When will people learn which tier they are in?
An announcement will be made on Thursday when officials have had a chance to study the latest data.
How will decisions be made?
Officials will look at coronavirus cases across all age groups, and specifically among the over-60s who are considered most at risk.
They will also consider whether infection rates are rising or falling and the prevalence of the disease per 100,000 of population.
How long will the restrictions last?
Tiering decisions will be reviewed every 14 days. Overall restrictions will run to the end of March when the regulations are due to expire.
Which new Covid tier will Norfolk be in?
Lockdown is to be replaced with a new tiered system, but there is no guarantee the region will be in the lowest tier.
Norfolk and Waveney has relatively low levels of coronavirus compared to the rest of the country, but by no means the lowest.
The government is also yet to guarantee the thresholds and measures which would determine what tier a region is put into.
However, it is likely coronavirus cases across all age groups, and specifically among the over-60s who are considered most at risk, will be used to determine it.
The latest figures for new cases for every local authority area in England show Norfolk and Waveney is below average for the seven days up to November 19.
Hull has the highest rate in England, with 1,477 new cases recorded in the seven days to November 19 - the equivalent of 568.6 cases per 100,000 people.
In contrast South Norfolk has the highest rate in Norfolk, with the equivalent of 164 cases per 100,000 people.
Meanwhile North Norfolk had the fifth lowest rate in England with just 67 cases, 63.9 per 100,000.