Tier 4 for all of England not ruled out by Government as review date looms

The Government has not ruled out putting the whole of England under Tier 4 restrictions as decision day approaches over the rules.

Monday, 28th December 2020, 11:05 am

The review to decide whether more areas will be moved into the harshest tier of Covid restrictions is expected on Wednesday, December 30, and comes as the new highly infectious variant of coronavirus spreads across the UK and the world.

Confirmation the Government had not ruled out moving the whole of England being moved into Tier 4 came today, Monday, December 28, from Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove.

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The North East is in Tier 3, but there is a warning it has not been ruled out that all of England could be put under Tier 4 under the next review of restrictions.

He told BBC Breakfast: “We review which tiers parts of the country should be in on the basis of scientific evidence.

“The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) will be making a recommendation to ministers, but I can’t pre-empt that because it obviously has to be a judgment based on the medical situation.

“As you quite rightly point out, the NHS is under pressure and these are difficult months ahead.”

It comes as the president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine has said there will be a lag before the NHS feels the benefit of the Tier 4 restrictions imposed on London and the south east.

Dr Katherine Henderson said people now found to have Covid-19 were infected two weeks ago.

The North East remains in Tier 3, the High Risk level of alert, following the last review on Thursday, December 17.

The region was placed under these rules in the wake of the month-long lockdown which ended early in December, having been under additional local restrictions ahead of the national action.

Labour leaders, including a number from the region, have previously urged the Government to set out in clear terms entry and exit points for tiers to help areas support communities and businesses.

As it announced the North East would continue under the same restrictions, it explained the reason the region had not moved down to Tier 2 was due to concern over the increasing number of cases in South Tyneside.

It added that relaxing the rules elsewhere across the seven council areas of Sunderland, South Tyneside, County Durham, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Gateshead and Northumberland could lead to a rise of cases.

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