Matt Hancock set out the restrictions that will be in place across the United Kingdom once the lockdown ends this week.
Speaking at the latest Downing Street press conference, he said that Coronavirus was “back under control” but only just, and the tighter tier two and three restrictions are necessary to keep the UK safe;
“We don’t have much headroom. We can’t risk letting cases rise again, especially into Christmas and with the flu season around the corner.”
He said that subject to a vote in the House of Commons on Wednesday, the new restrictions will be much tighter than the original tiers, but that they are necessary as 1 in 3 people are asymptomatic, meaning that it is easy for the virus to spread undetected.
He also announced that the UK has ordered a further 2 million doses of the Moderna Coronavirus vaccine, with the firm announcing earlier today that they have submitted a regulatory application and could receive approval very soon. They also announced today that the latest data shows their vaccine to be 94% effective.
The testing programme for all university students wishing to travel home during the government’s December 2nd – 9th window, was also rolled out today. All students wishing to travel home for the Christmas period should be tested before heading home for the holidays, with many students having to finish their terms online if they are going home.
It is also confirmed that there will not be exceptions for people in established relationships unlike in the last lockdown, with couples not being able to meet inside if they are in tiers one or two – this will not apply during the government’s December 23rd-27th Christmas travel window.
There have been a further 208 coronavirus attributed deaths in hospitals in England today, while there were another 12,155 confirmed cases across the UK.
Matt Hancock also urged Britons to get a Coronavirus test;
“If you have Covid without symptoms and still infect others that is, of course, a silent danger.”
“You wouldn’t know that you’re risking lives around you.”
“So to everybody: if you are offered a test please take it, you might just save a life.”