In Depth

Why everyone’s talking about about post-lockdown tiers - and which areas will face toughest rules

Harshest restrictions will apply in much of the North but not London or most of the South

The government has revealed which parts of the UK will face the highest level of Covid restrictions when the nationwide lockdown ends next week - with just three areas deemed safe enough to enter Tier 1.

London and Liverpool will be put into Tier 2, while Manchester, Hull and Newcastle are among “swathes of the North set to face the toughest coronavirus restrictions” in Tier 3, The Telegraph reports. Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and Isle of Scilly are the only regions in the Tier 1 category.

How are the tiers calculated?

While a number of measures will remain in place across all regions, such as an 11pm closing time for pubs and restaurants, the new tier system dictates which other restrictions are imposed in each area.

Based on advice from the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), the tiers are decided according to the following factors:

• total case numbers• cases in over 60s• the rate at which infections are rising or falling• percentage of positive tests• current and projected pressure on local NHS services

In a statement to the Commons today, Health Secretary Matt Hanock said: “We have taken into account advice from Sage on the impact of the previous tiers to strengthen the measures in the tiers, and help enable areas to move more swiftly into lower tiers.”

However, the tiers plan has been criticised by Labour leader Keir Starmer, who told MPs that introducing the scheme without a working test-and-trace system was a “major risk”, The Guardian reports. 

Which areas are in which tier?

Just 1% of England’s population will be in Tier 1 come the end of lockdown. London will enter Tier 2, in which household mixing is only permitted outside - dealing another “blow to the capital’s hospitality industry”, says The Telegraph.

Joining London in Tier 2 will be Liverpool and most of the Southeast and Southwest of England.

But many other major cities and huge chunks of the country are facing Tier 3 rules, including Newcastle, Sunderland, Lancashire, Blackpool, Blackburn, Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull and Bristol.

The top level of restrictions will also apply to Greater Manchester, where Mayor Andy Burnham has fought a bitter battle with the government over funding for the North of the country.

Other Tier 3 areas include parts of Yorkshire and Gloucestershire and all of Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, all of Yorkshire, the Tees Valley and Kent.

You can confirm your local status by checking the government’s full list of local restrictions tiers by area.

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