More areas of England moved to ‘high risk’ Covid alert level

More areas of England moved to 'high risk' Covid alert level

More areas of England moved to ‘high risk’ Covid alert level

Millions of people in London, Essex, York and other areas face tougher Tier 2 Covid measures from Saturday.

The decision to formally move the capital up to the ‘high risk’ tier of coronavirus restrictions was backed by the mayor, Sadiq Khan, but prompted protests from a series of Conservative MPs

Under this alert level, there is a ban on households mixing indoors, including in pubs and restaurants.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham is resisting the region moving to Tier 3, ahead of a final decision on this.

An ongoing row in the North West has prevented any action being taken in Greater Manchester, where coronavirus infection rates remain among some of the highest in England.

There has so far been no decision on moving the region into the “very high” risk category of 3 – in line with the neighbouring Liverpool region – despite widespread speculation.

The mayor is pushing back unless Number 10 can offer more financial support.

The MP for York Central, Labour’s Rachael Maskell, welcomed the move, but asked Health Secretary Matt Hancock why he had not gone further given “there are areas of the country in Tier 3 with a lower infection rate”.

More than half of England’s population will now be living under high or very high-alert restrictions.

The areas to go into high alert restrictions this weekend are:

  • London
  • Essex
  • Elmbridge in Surrey
  • Barrow in Furness, Cumbria
  • York
  • North East Derbyshire
  • Chesterfield
  • Erewash, Derbyshire

Delivering a statement to the Commons, the Health Secretary said: “things will get worse before they get better”.

He said: “Now, I know that these measures are not easy but I also know that they are vital.

“Responding to this unprecedented pandemic requires difficult choices, some of the most difficult choices any government has to make in peacetime.”

Photo: York Minster

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