Coronavirus: Updates as London heads for Tier system

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    Follow our live blog today (November 26) as the post-lockdown system of Tiered restrictions is set to be announced by the government.

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12:08pm

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan makes statement on new restrictions: 

“Government has confirmed London will be under Tier 2 as of 2nd Dec.

“Londoners: thank you for the monumental sacrifices you have made to ensure cases are falling in most parts of our city.

“However we can’t be complacent – please continue to follow the rules.

12:06pm

Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary John Ashworth responds: 

“These interventions succeed when made with local authorities.

“Is it the position that the Prime Minister imposes restrictions from Downing Street on communities across the Midlands and the North? Restrictions that will have a huge impact on livelihoods of families and small businesses.

“Christmas is vital for pubs, restaurants, entertainment venues across this period.

“They will need substantial financial support to get through this period.”

12:02pm

Full list of Tiers across the UK available here 

All 32 London boroughs plus City of London officially placed in Tier 2.

Surrey placed in Tier 2.

Kent placed in Tier 3.

11:58am

Matt Hancock addresses the House of Commons:

“Regardless of your Tier…we must all think of our own responsibilities to keep the virus under control.

“We should see these restrictions not as a boundary to push, but as a limit on what the public health advice says we can safely do in any area.

“But frankly, the less any one person passes on the disease, the faster we can get this disease under control. That is on all of us.”

11:55am

Matt Hancock addresses the House of Commons:

“The lowest case rates are in Cornwall, the Isle of White and the Isles of Scilly. They will go into Tier 1.

“The majority of England will be in Tier 2, but in a significant number of areas I’m afraid they need to be in Tier 3 to bring case rates down.”

11:52am

Matt Hancock addresses the House of Commons:

“We will do this by returning to a Tiered approach, applying the toughest measures to the parts of the country where cases and pressures on the NHS are highest, and allowing greater freedom where cases are lower.

“We’ve looked at each of the Tiers afresh and strengthened them.

“In Tier 1, if you can work from home you should to do so.

“In Tier 2, alcohol may only be served in hospitality settings along with substantial meal.

“And in Tier 3, indoor entertainment will have to close, along with all forms of hospitality except from delivery and takeaway.”

11:47am

Matt Hancock addresses the House of Commons:

“We must remain vigilant. There are still today 16,570 people in hospital with coronavirus across the UK.

“And 696 deaths were reported yesterday. That means 696 more families mourning the loss of a loved one.

“We must keep supressing the virus while supporting education, the economy and of course the NHS until a vaccine can make us safe. That is our plan.”

11:44am

Matt Hancock addresses the House of Commons:

“The national measures have successfully turned the curve and begun to ease pressure on the NHS.

“Cases are down 19 per cent from a week ago, and daily hospital admissions have fallen 7 per cent.

“It is vital we safeguard the gains we have made.”

11:40am

Kent placed in Tier 3 — reports

Those able to access the government’s post-code tracking website have reported that Kent will be placed into the ‘Very High Risk’ category of Tier 3 restrictions.

Kent is one of the largest counties in England and the rate of coronavirus infection in the county varies between areas like Gravesham that are reporting a surge in cases, and other areas like Tonbridge Wells that are seeing new case numbers declining.

11:29am

London will be placed ‘in Tier 2’ — reports

The government have launched a website allowing residents across England to search their postcode and discover which tier they will be living under from midnight on December 2.

Click here to access.

However, seemingly due to a high volume of demand, the website is crashing for many people.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Screenshot of government website (November 26). Screenshot of government website (November 26).

11:25am

Government tier look-up tool crashes

In the last few minutes the government has published a postcode look-up tool for people to find out what tier their area is in, but several people have reported that they can’t access the site due to technical difficulties.

11:21am

The latest Covid-19 figures

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

New data showing the number of new cases in each London borough is released every day by Public Health England, and Wednesday’s data are promising.

The average level of infection across London is 180.5 cases per 100,000, well below average the England national average of 217.6 cases per 100,000.and it appears increasingly likely that the capital is now past its second wave peak.

Bexley currently has the highest infection rate per 100,000 in south London, with 249.7.

Lewisham holds the lowest, with 111.2.

Boroughs such as Croydon (162.7), Wandsworth (135), Bromley (154.1) and Merton (178.7) are all hovering around the London average.

Most of the weekly figures also indicate small declines in the number of new cases, which has led to MPs in the capital campaigning against inflicting stricter tier 3 measures.

For the full figures in south east London, read more here.

11:08am

Tiers are expected to be reviewed for the first time on December 16 after their official introduction next week. 

Healh Secretary Matt Hancock said a return to the Tiered system was “thanks to the hard work and sacrifice made by people up and down the country”.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Health Secretary Matt Hancock Health Secretary Matt Hancock

“I know for those of you faced with Tier 3 restrictions this will be a particularly difficult time but I want to reassure you that we’ll be supporting your areas with mass community testing and extra funding,” he added.

“By following the rules together we can get out of these tough measures.”

The Department of Health said decisions on tier levels were based on a number of factors, including case detection rates in all age groups and, in particular, amongst the over 60s.

How quickly case rates are rising or falling and the impact on local NHS services are also taken into account.

The final decisions were made by the Prime Minister at the Covid Operations Committee.

10:55am

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said their latest data showed infection rates for coronavirus in England “may be levelling off”. 

In a tweet posted just minutes ago, a graph accompanied by the statement appeared to show a flattening of infection rates in England for new cases of Covid-19.

 

10:49am

Most of England is expected to face tough coronavirus restrictions when the new tier arrangements are set out, with bans on households mixing indoors and curbs on pubs and restaurants.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab arrives in Westminster ahead of the post-lockdown announcement. Image: Yui Mok/PA Wire.Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab arrives in Westminster ahead of the post-lockdown announcement. Image: Yui Mok/PA Wire.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock will set out the plans in the Commons but ministers have already warned that more areas will likely be in higher tiers compared to the regime before the lockdown.

The new arrangements will apply from December 2 after England’s blanket lockdown ends and restrictions have been tightened after Government scientific advisers warned that previous measures had not been effective enough.

Only a few of the least affected areas are expected to be placed in Tier 1 (where restrictions are limited).

In this tier, the rule of six applies indoors and outdoors, people are urged to work from home if they can and pubs are limited to table service.

Large swathes of the country – including London – are expected to face Tier 2 restrictions with a ban on households mixing indoors and pubs, and restaurants only able to sell alcohol with a “substantial meal”.

10:45am

The government are expected to announce new regional restrictions for the UK in an updated Tier system today (Thursday, November 26) after the nationwide lockdown ends just after midnight on Wednesday (December 2).

Health Secretary Matt Hancock will make the announcement to the House of Commons soon ahead of a government press conference later today.

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