Only 2,000 people in England not under toughest Tier 3 or 4 Covid restrictions

From New Year's Eve, there will be just over 2,000 people in England not living under Tier 3 or 4 coronavirus restrictions.

Only the Isles of Scilly are left in England under Tier 1 or 2 restrictions after Health Secretary Matt Hancock's announcement today.

The group of islands, five of which are inhabited, have a combined population of just over 2,000 people.

They remain in Tier 1 with no areas in Tier 2 after Mr Hancock put another 20 million people under the toughest lockdown restrictions.

A total of 44 million people will be living under Tier 4 rules from New Year's Eve, or 78% of the population of England, while 22% will be living under tier three rules.

It means the Isles of Scilly are the only place in England where pubs and restaurants can remain open for customers to eat and drink.

A further 50,023 Covid-19 cases were recorded in the UK on Wednesday, with a shocking 981 more deaths – more than double the total of the previous day.

Mr Hancock said the harsh measures, which will also close non-essential shops, hospitality businesses and gyms and leisure centre, were "essential" to fight back against the rapidly spreading new coronavirus variant.

  • All pubs in mainland England to shut after Covid-19 lockdown tier changes

The Health Secretary said experts now believe it is as much as 56% more contagious than the original Covid-18 strain.

He said: "Yesterday alone, 52, 135 new cases were registered, the majority of which are believed to be the new variant.

"Unfortunately this new variant is spreading across most of England.

"There are over 21,000 people in hospital with coronavirus right now.

"And we can see the impact that this is having – the threat to life from this virus is real, and the pressures on the NHS is real too."

He warned "case rates are doubling fast" and there are "significant" challenges to the NHS.

Source: Read Full Article