Covid: millions more in England to enter tier 4 | World news

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Millions more people in England will be placed under stay-at-home orders from New Year’s Eve, sources have confirmed, after the new variant of Covid-19 contributed to a record rise in infections across the country.

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, is set to announce that many places in England – including all of the north-east, Greater Manchester, large parts of the Midlands and the south-west – would move up to the strictest tier 4 rules from Thursday morning.

They will join nearly 24 million people in England already under the “stay at home” restrictions, meaning the closure of non-essential shops and strict one-to-one outdoor meeting limits between households.

There have been growing calls for tighter coronavirus restrictions in England as cases continue to rise and hospitals report mounting pressure. All of mainland Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are already in the tightest restrictions, meaning the closure of hospitality and non-essential retail.

The number of Covid-19 patients in English hospitals surpassed the first-wave peak on Sunday, with 21,787 people in hospital with the disease on Tuesday morning and numbers expected to rise further as cases climb.

On Tuesday, cases reached a record high, with 53,135 reported in the UK, including 47,164 in England. The Covid variant discovered earlier this month now accounted for a majority of all new cases, Hancock said on Wednesday.

Areas moved into tier 4 include all of the Midlands except Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Rutland, which will all be in tier 3. In the north-west, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen, Cheshire, Warrington and Cumbria will be in tier 4. Liverpool will be moved up to Tier 3.

In the south-west, Gloucestershire, Swindon, Somerset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will be in tier 4, while the remainder of the region – including Cornwall, Devon and Dorset – will be moved up to tier 3. Only the Isles of Scilly will be in tier 1.

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Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Covid: millions more in England to enter tier 4 | World news

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