PM set to announce new lockdown rules today

PM set to announce new lockdown rules today

PM set to announce new lockdown rules today

The country faces an anxious wait today with the Prime Minister expected to announce tough new lockdown measures.

Boris Johnson will set out details of a new system in a statement to MPs at around 3.30pm, after chairing a meeting of the government’s emergency COBRA committee.

He will then address the nation at a Downing Street news conference from 6pm, alongside Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer.

It is thought that different parts of England will be split up into “medium”, “high”, or “very high” local Covid alert areas under a new three-tier system.

The classification of areas will determine what type of “appropriate interventions” are to be made in them to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Downing Street said the Government was working with local leaders to determine the areas to be covered by the very high alert level, and the measures needed in those places.

In the worst affected areas, pubs, gyms and casinos are likely to be required to shut and all but essential travel will be banned, but restaurants and pubs offering “substantive meals” would stay open.

The aim of the government’s new three-tier coronavirus lockdown system is to get the virus under control by the new year – and hopefully before Christmas – a minister has told Sky News.

Speaking to Kay Burley, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “The purpose of doing this is to ensure that we get the virus under control so that by the time we get through to after Christmas we are in that position where it’s under control.

“Indeed I hope it will be sooner than that.”

There have been 600,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far in the UK and more than 40,000 people have died, government figures show.

However, these figures include only people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus and other measures suggest the number of deaths is higher.

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