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More areas to enter Tier 3 from Saturday following review of England's tier allocations

More areas to enter Tier 3 from Saturday following review of England's tier allocations

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Portsmouth and Peterborough will move into Tier 3 restrictions from 00:01 on Saturday.

The announcement, made in the House of Commons on Thursday morning, comes after a full review of the tier allocations across the country.

Greater London, South and West Essex and South Hertfordshire moved into Tier 3 on Wednesday, following an announcement on Monday. Areas are usually moved into Tier 3 when there is 'very high risk' and high prevalence of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. 

Under Tier 3 measures, no mixing of households is allowed indoors apart from within support bubbles. Hospitality must also be closed, except for sales by takeaway, drive-through and delivery.

The changes mean that from Saturday, 68% of England's population will be living in areas allocated to Tier 3, the toughest set of restrictions.

Many areas in Tier 3 which have seen a falling number of Coronavirus cases had hoped to move into Tier 2, allowing hospitality to reopen. However, Bristol and North Somerset are the only areas to move from Tier 3 to Tier 2 in the latest review, while Herefordshire is the only area to move into Tier 1.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has criticised the decision to keep Manchester in the highest tier of restrictions, tweeting "when cases rise in the North, the North goes under restrictions when cases rise in London and the South East, everyone stays under restrictions."

Speaking in the Commons to announce the changes that were made to the tier allocations, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "I want to pay tribute to everyone who’s been doing the right thing & getting rates down, whether or not your area has come down a Tier today."

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