Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “If ministers do not get the balance right, England could face a third wave…”
England’s lockdown ends this Wednesday. While citizens take it as a sign of no threat from the virus anymore, such is not the case. Latest figures show that total cases have risen to 1,605,172 with 58,030 deaths. Daily cases peak at 15,861 with 479 new deaths per day.
The new system in England will segregate regions into three tiers: medium, high and very high. The restrictions on bars and restaurants will stay the same.
Except Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and Isles of Scilly will be in the lowest tier; the rest of the England will be in the highest two tiers. Northern Ireland will continue with the lockdown till December 10 and areas in Scotland continue to be placed in one of the five tiers. The restriction on bars and restaurants stay the same in Wales.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab defended the tiered approach as a post-lockdown measure on Wednesday, emphasising the need to “bear down” on the pandemic. But Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy reserved her unconditional support on behalf of the party in an attempt to seek clarity about the structure of the system.
In his letter to the public, the prime minister has urged people to support the system and work together. Boris Johnson wrote in a letter to all MPs and peers that rules could be eased in December. He also stated that the restrictions will expire on 3 February; MPs can vote again in January with the tier system ending the following month.
Those living in Tier 1 areas can follow the rule of six both indoors and outdoors. These will also include personal care including hairdressing and spectators in limited numbers at events and live performances. Those in high and very high regions (Tiers 2 and 3) will follow stringent rules.
As Christmas is celebrated this year across the nation, it will be different to the yester years. Here are five things that will be the new normal:
- Christmas Bubbles of up to three household will be allowed to meet from 23 to 27 December
- This year’s work celebrations are to take place on zoom and other platforms
- Places of worship have reopened in most places, but Midnight masses are a topic of uncertainty
- A surge in online shopping is expected
- Fireworks have been cancelled in London, so we might have a quiet New Year’s Eve.
After speaking to an NHS worker who works at one of the leading hospitals in Central London about what to anticipate this Christmas, she told Westminster World: “The government proactively brought in second lockdown to ensure measures can be relaxed over Christmas. So, at the end of the day we all should have a moral responsibility towards ourselves and each other to take measures while visiting our loved ones and abide by the recommendations and not exceed the limitations of household mixing.”
Christmas is less than a month away and Londoners seem to be prepping for the much awaited festival whilst abiding by the rules and regulations to reduce the spread of the virus.