Health secretary Matt Hancock addressed the House of Commons today (Thursday 17 December), outlining the regions that will be placed into tier three from this weekend.
As of one-minute past midnight on Saturday 19 December, the following areas will move to tier three:
- The whole of Hertfordshire
- Surrey, except Waverley
- Hastings and Rother
- Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant
The regions will join Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Kent and Birmingham, alongside many other areas across the country in the Government’s strictest measures.
It follows the announcement on Monday (14 December) that London, alongside parts of Hertfordshire and Essex, would be moving into tier three, forcing 4,469 pubs to close and only operate with takeaway services, according to real estate adviser Altus Group.
Just two areas are now able to move down a tier as a result of falling infection rates and from the same time on Saturday as above, Bristol and North Somerset will move from tier three to tier two and Herefordshire will move from tier two to tier one.
This means just five regions will be in the lowest tier including the above plus Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly.
Hancock said: “For the vast majority of places currently in tier three, we are not making a change today however, I am pleased to say some places can go down a tier.
"In Bristol and North Somerset, rates have come down from 432 per 100,000 to 121 and falling and I can therefore announce, Bristol and North Somerset will come out tier three, into tier two on Saturday.
“Rates in Herefordshire have also come down to 45 in 100,000 and are falling and we can therefore bring Herefordshire out of tier two and into tier one.”
Night-Time Industries Association CEO Michael Kill labelled the current financial aid from the Government as “grossly disproportionate” to costs.
Kill added: “As even more areas have been dragged into the tightest Covid restrictions, with limited changes to the current restrictions particularly in the north. The Government has compounded an already critical position within the night-time economy and hospitality sector.
“Thousands of businesses and employees have supported the Government's public health campaign against Covid, creating safe, regulated environments for people to socialise. This financial burden and commitment has been recognised only in lip-service, with insubstantial support measures to repay confidence in the sector”
“The current financial support is grossly disproportionate to operating costs and the current restrictions express a level of wilful ignorance: they are a policy decision, without scientific basis or consideration for the hardest hit sectors. This deserves nothing less than anger and outrage from operators and businesses
“This week the Office of National Statistics (ONS) released figures highlighting 819,000 fewer workers on company payroll, and an increase to 1.7m unemployed. The statistics speak for themselves and much of this is as a direct result of the current operating restrictions and lack of support being given to the night-time economy and hospitality sectors.”
“The Government must compensate these businesses for the period of time they have been closed, and the loss of business suffered due to restrictions through the festive period”
“The sector has suffered horrendously since the start of the pandemic and is continually bearing the burden, so that other sectors are able to open during the festive period.”