A total of 23.3 million people in England – 41.5 percent of the population – will fall under Tier 3 of the government’s Covid-19 restrictions as of December 2.
On December 1, the current three-tiered system was passed by the House of Commons with 291 votes to 78. While successful, 55 Tory rebels voted against the restrictions. Another 16 Tories abstained after sharing concerns about the tougher system leading up to the vote. This marks the major rebellion of Boris Johnson’s premiership.
Tier 3 restrictions apply to areas such as Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Kent. Use our postcode tool to find out under which level you fall.
All Tier 3 local authorities will receive support from NHS Test and Trace and the armed forces to conduct a six-week rapid community testing program, utilizing rapid lateral flow testing that provides results within an hour.
The hospitality and entertainment industry is being hit hardest under the revised Tier 3 restrictions, which allow pubs and restaurants to remain open only for takeout.
Level allocations will be revised every 14 days, with the government closely monitoring infection rates, especially in the over-60s.
As the Prime Minister shared in a Downing Street briefing, each area has the potential to move to a lower level as he stated “your level is not your destiny”.
On December 1, in a last-ditch effort to win over rebel MPs, the Prime Minister also promised that levels would be decided on a more “granular” basis after the mid-December review.
Mr Johnson’s statement was interrupted several times before he was finished, as MPs from both sides were critical of areas with low infection rates classified into high levels due to his regional approach.
The Prime Minister argued: “As we go forward, and I mean this very sincerely, the government will look at how to best reflect the reality of what is happening on the property, looking at the incidence of the disease, the human geography and distribution of the virus. ”
Although, despite hopes for “granularity” to spark hope among backbenchers, Sir Keir Starmer argued that it is “highly unlikely that anything would change dramatically in the next two weeks.
Are Tier 3 restrictions changing now that we have a vaccine?
Despite the promising approval of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, the Prime Minister shared that the level system remains essential to “keep the virus under control”.
At a press conference on December 2, Mr. Johnson said it will still be “several months before all vulnerable are protected,” so we must remain cautious and not “get carried away with over-optimism”.
He added that “for now you have to assume that tiering will be a very, very important part of our campaign against the coronavirus.”
This is what the new Tier 3 restrictions look like:
Read more: How Each Lockdown Layer Will Change Under New Covid Restrictions