National rather than regional tiers being considered by PM

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

State say so: the Government is expected to make an announcement on its exit strategy from lockdown later this month
State say so: the Government is expected to make an announcement on its exit strategy from lockdown later this month

Related tags Government Legislation Boris johnson

Pubs could reopen under national restrictions instead of regional measures, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has proposed.

He put this down to the fact the virus was behaving differently and a country-wide approach could be a better way of coping.

This comes after a South African strain of coronavirus was discovered and has necessitated a community mass testing initiative. Some 80,000 people in specific areas are being instructed to get tested for the virus.

The postcodes to receive door-to-door testing include: W7, N17 and CR4 in London; WS2 in Walsall; ME15 in Maidstone, Kent; PR9 in Southport; EN10 in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire; and GU21 in Woking, Surrey. 

National approach

Public Health England found 105 cases of the highly infectious variant, with 11 cases that have no link to travelling overseas.

On imposing nationwide restrictions, Johnson said: “It may be a national approach, going down the tiers in a national way might be better this time round, given the disease is behaving much more nationally.

“If you look at the way the new variant has taken off across the country, it’s a pretty national phenomenon.

“The charts I see, we are all sort of moving pretty much in the same sort of way, I mean there are a few discrepancies, a few differences, so it may be we will go for a national approach but there may be an advantage still in some regional differentiation as well.”

Official announcement

This follows newspaper reports last week Johnson was considering scrapping the tiered system when restrictions begin to be lifted.

However, this was just after communities secretary Robert Jenrick suggested there would be a return to the tiered system. He added: “It is sensible we target restrictions on those places where the virus is most prevalent”.

The Government is due to make an official announcement about its exit strategy in the week commencing Monday 22 February.

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