The Prime Minister has officially announced the new local lockdown system today, which will lead to some businesses having to close once more this week.
Boris Johnson has confirmed plans for a three-tier system, which will see areas around the country deemed as ‘medium’, ‘high’ or ‘very high’. Those in the top tier will see hospitality businesses, including restaurants and pubs, forced to close. These restrictions will be in place within areas experiencing more significant rates of the virus – most notably Liverpool, where the new rules will come in to play as of Wednesday.
Under the first tier restrictions will be the baselines ones which are in place across all areas of England which are not under tougher local restrictions. These measures include the "rule of six" - a ban on most gatherings of more than six people and a 10 pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants. Tier two brings with it the added ban on indoor mixing of households, however, two households may be allowed to meet outdoors in a private garden, as long as the rule of six and social distancing guidelines are followed.
This comes after reports that virus is once again spreading, particularly among the elderly and vulnerable, with more people currently in hospital than there were in March.
When asked what support will be available for businesses forced to close, Chancellor Rishi Sunak advised that the new job support scheme (in which the government will cover up to two-thirds of affected workers salaries) will run for six months, alongside the availability of cash grants of up to £3,000. Businesses such as nightclubs, which have yet to reopen their doors at all since March, are also set to benefit from the expansion of this scheme.
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