Covid tiers: Non-essential shops, gyms and hairdressers to reopen when lockdown ends on December 2

Video report by ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston

UPDATE: The government has announced the list of tiers for each area of England after lockdown. You can check which tier your area is in here.England's lockdown will end on December 2, Boris Johnson has confirmed, and non-essential shops, gyms and hairdressers across the country will be allowed to reopen.

Prime Minister Johnson - announcing his "Covid Winter Plan", which is designed to be England's coronavirus strategy until spring 2021 - said England's lockdown will be replaced by a tightened system of tiered coronavirus restrictions.

He said advice to minimise travel and work from home will be in place in all tiers, even Tier 1, but people who cannot work from home will still be allowed to attend their workplace.

Tier 2 is being tightened so that hospitality venues can only serve alcohol as part of a substantial meal.

Under Tier 3 all hospitality venues will be forced to close, except those offering takeaway and delivery - all indoor entertainment venues, hotels and other accommodation will also be told to close.

The rules under each tier will be non-negotiable, the prime minister said, and "more regions will fall at least temporarily into higher levels than before".

He added that the tier system was being strengthened because previous restrictions were "not quite enough" to reduce the reproduction rate of coronavirus (the R number) below one.

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The rule of six is back in all tiers, but in tiers 2 and 3 cross household indoor mixing will still be banned.

Non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers, beauty parlours, and the wider leisure sector can reopen in all tiers, and collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume.

A decision on which areas will be placed under what tier will be made on Thursday, and will be based on various criteria including the local R number.

Mr Johnson said advances in vaccines and testing should reduce need for restrictions by the spring.

The PM praised the developments, saying the "scientific cavalry is in sight", adding to MPs: "We know in our hearts that next year we will succeed.

What did the PM announce in the 'Covid Winter Plan'?

"By the spring these advances should reduce the need for the restrictions we have endured in 2020 and make the whole concept of a Covid lockdown redundant."

He said an expansion of mass rapid testing could carve a way for a return to something approaching normality.

This could include allowing people who test negative greater freedoms and the prospect of a daily test replacing precautionary self-isolation for people who come into contact with a coronavirus case.

The hospitality curfew - which will apply in tier 1 and 2 - is being altered so that last orders must be called at 10pm, but customers will be allowed to remain in venues until 11pm, allowing them to leave in a staggered manner.

Watch Boris Johnson's Monday coronavirus update in full:

Spectators will be allowed back into sport venues in tiers 1 and 2, but with capacity limits and social distancing.

In Tier 1, the crowd size at outdoor venues must be restricted to 50% of capacity or to 4,000 spectators, whichever is smaller.

In Tier 2 it will be 50% of outdoor venues or 2,000 spectators, whichever is smaller.

Crowds at indoor sport venues will be restricted to a maximum of 1,000 spectators in both tiers - the same rule will apply at theatres and concert halls.

In Tier 3 sports fans will still be banned from attending venues.

Despite advances in testing and vaccines, Mr Johnson said "Christmas cannot be normal" this year but the UK has "every reason to hope and believe" spring could see an easing of restrictions.

What can you do in each tier from December 2? The new rules in England at a glance:

  • Tier 1: Up to six people can meet indoors or outdoors. Pubs and restaurants can open, with last orders at 10pm and closing at 11pm.

  • Tier 2: No mixing indoors, apart from support bubbles. Up to six people can meet outdoors. Pubs and restaurants can open, with last orders at 10pm and closing at 11pm - but alcohol can only be served with a substantial meal.

  • Tier 3: No mixing indoors. People can only meet outdoors in limited places such as parks and public gardens. Pubs and restaurants must close, with the exception of takeaway sales.

In all tiers, non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers and personal care services can open.

People in all tiers to work from home where they can do so. Full details on what you can do in each tier here.

What impact will the tier system have on shops, restaurants and pubs?

He told the Commons: "This will still be a hard winter. Christmas cannot be normal and there's a long road to spring.

"But we have turned a corner and the escape route is in sight.

"We must hold out against the virus until testing and vaccines come to our rescue and reduce the need for restrictions.

"And everyone can help speed up the arrival of that moment by continuing to follow the rules getting tested and self-isolating when instructed, remembering 'hands, face, space' and pulling together for one final push to the spring when we have every reason to hope and believe the achievements of our scientists will finally lift the shadow of this virus."

The prime minister's announcement came as it was announced that a further 206 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Monday, bringing the UK total to 55,230.

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