12:19 GMT18 January 2021
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    The UK Health Secretary has set out England's coronavirus tiers on Thursday as he addressed parliamentarians in the House of Commons, which comes ahead of the Prime Minister’s press conference later in the evening.

    Matt Hancock told MPs that London and the Liverpool city region will be placed in middle level Tier 2, following the end of the national lockdown on 2 December. The areas in highest level Tier 3 include Greater Manchester, Birmingham and Black Country, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne among others. Only three areas will enjoy the least harsh measures under Tier 1: Isle of Wight, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.

    The three-tier system was introduced in Britain before the month-long national lockdown of 5 November to 2 December. As the nation comes out of the lockdown, different areas will have to follow the restrictions enforced under their tier.

    Currently, under the highest-risk level Tier 3, there should be no mixing of households indoors or in most outdoor places, with hospitality venues closed except for takeaway, drive-through or delivery.

    In Tier 2, there should be no mixing of households indoors apart from support bubbles, with the rule of six applying outdoors. Pubs and bars must close unless operating as restaurants, while hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals.

    Whereas in Tier 1 you must not socialise in groups larger than 6 people, indoors or outdoors, other than where a legal exemption applies. While businesses and venues can remain open, in a COVID secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs. Hospitality businesses are meant to stay closed between 11pm and 5am.

    The full list of tier system restrictions can be found here

    ​The Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to give a press conference on Thursday evening, following a self-isolation period he underwent after coming into contact with a MP who had tested positive for Covid-19. 

    The PM is expected to elaborate on the nation’s list of local restriction tiers by area.

    Despite many areas in the country added to the highest-risk level, the Health Secretary told the House of Commons that "hope is on the horizon.” He added that “we still have further to go” but the “end is in sight.”

    "We should see these restrictions not as a boundary to push but as a limit on what the public health advice says we can safely do in any area," Hancock said.

    The general relaxation of restrictions over the holiday season across the UK will allow people to celebrate in three-household "Christmas bubbles" with their families.

    The devolved governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have agreed that groups can meet at home, outdoors or in a place of worship from 23 to 27 December.

    The daily number of deaths in the United Kingdom within 28 days of first positive test, as reported on 25 November, is 696.

    Wales, England, coronavirus, COVID-19
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