UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that England’s second national lockdown period will end on 2 December, speaking to MPs on Monday afternoon.
Present in the Commons via video link, Mr Johnson announced that the ‘stay at home’ instructions will end next Wednesday, though a revised version of the three-tier local lockdown system will come into force.
The Prime Minister, who is currently self-isolating in Downing Street, is expected to hold a news conference around 7pm this evening.
What will re-open when lockdown ends?
Shops, gyms, leisure facilities and hairdressers will be allowed to reopen across the country from 2 December.
Collective worship and weddings will also be able to resume, subject to social distancing restrictions.
The ‘rule of six’ will also be implemented, allowing more people to meet together outside than under the current lockdown measures.
How will the tiers be different from before?
Under the revised system of local lockdown tiers, everyone will be urged to work from home wherever possible.
In Tier 2 areas, pubs and bars must close unless they are serving substantial meals with alcoholic drinks – this was previously a Tier 3 restriction. Where pubs are allowed to open, they will now have to take last orders at 22:00 but will be able to remain open until 23:00.
In Tier 3 areas, pubs, bars and restaurants must remain closed, except for delivery, takeaway and drive-through services. Other indoor entertainment venues and hotels in these areas must also close.
More areas are expected to be in higher tiers of the system. Another key change is that there will not be government negotiations with different areas to add extra restrictions to those part of the tiers.
An announcement is expected to be made later this week (potentially on Thursday) as to which areas will be in which tier of the system. The allocation of different tiers is set to be reviewed every 14 days.
Spectators to be allowed at some sporting events
The Prime Minister announced that spectators are to be allowed into sports stadiums in the lowest-risk Coronavirus areas when the national lockdown measures end.
A maximum of 4,000 fans will be allowed to attend outdoor events in Tier 1 areas and up to 2,000 fans will be allowed to attend in Tier 2 areas. No fans will be allowed to attend events that take place in Tier 3 areas.
Writing on social media following the announcement, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden thanked the hosts and fans of pilot schemes for “showing this can be done safely”.
How about Christmas?
Plans regarding the Christmas period now look set to be announced later this week, with discussions on this topic thought to be ongoing.
Speaking about Christmas, Mr Johnson said: “I can’t say that Christmas will be normal this year but in a period of adversity time spent with loved ones is even more precious for people of all faiths and none.”