PUBS and bars are some of the businesses that will be forced to close in Tier Three coronavirus lockdown areas.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his new three-tier system for tackling rising coronavirus cases today, with Tier Three being the highest risk.
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Speaking in the Commons today, Mr Johnson said he didn't want to go back to another national lockdown – but said "we need to go further" to control the spread of coronavirus.
The PM said: "Left unchecked, each person with the virus will infect an average of between 2.7 and 3 others, but Sage assesses that the current R nationally is between 1.2 and 1.5.
"So we are already suppressing that R to well below its natural level, which is why the virus is not spreading as quickly as it did in March. But we need to go further.
"In recent months we have worked with local leaders to counter local spikes with targeted restrictions, but this local approach has inevitably produced different sets of rules in different parts of the country that are now complex to understand and to enforce."
Every area of the UK will be branded either medium, high or very high risk when the new system comes into force this Wednesday, October 14.
Tier One areas – medium risk – will enforce current social distancing measures, the “rule of six” and a pub curfew of 10pm enforced.
Households in Tier Two – high risk – will have the same restrictions plus a ban on households mixing indoors.
Tier Three areas – very high risk – will have all the above rules, plus they won't be able to leave their region unless for essential reasons such as work, education or health.
What businesses will have to close in Tier Three areas?
The PM confirmed pubs and bars will have to close in areas placed under Tier Three lockdown rules.
Mr Johnson also ordered all casinos, bookmakers and gyms to shut.
As well as this the PM placed restrictions on businesses in the "personal care, entertainment, sports and leisure".
The government is expected to publish further clarification on the exact businesses that will close later today, but it's expected to include:
- Indoor swimming pools
- Indoor sport centres
- Beauty salon
The move will come as a blow to the pubs industry with boozers already restricted by a 10pm curfew.
However, the PM said pubs can open if they can operate as a restaurant – although it's unclear how this will work in reality.
What businesses will stay open in Tier Three areas?
Restaurants will be allowed to stay open, although they'll still be subject to current 10pm curfew rules.
Schools, universities and colleges will also stay open in Tier Three lockdown areas.
Shops will not have to shut, as the PM confirmed the retail industry will be unaffected.
Businesses that won't close:
What coronavirus alert level is the UK currently on?
Boris Johnson unveiled a "road map" for ending the UK coronavirus lockdown back in June, which included a five-level "alert system".
Although the alert level had dropped to one, to reflect the then-low infection rate, a recent spike in coronavirus cases means the UK is currently at level four.
At level four, Covid-19 transmission is "high or rising exponentially", explain health bosses.
The PM's five-point alert system ranks the threat level of the virus on a scale of one (green) to five (red).
This threat level arrangement is adjusted and amended depending on medical and scientific data.
The three-tier plan is designed to simplify coronavirus lockdowns across the UK.
The PM will later address the nation in a live press conference at 7pm this evening with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty.
It comes as Nightingale hospitals across the North are on standby as coronavirus levels are four weeks offthose seen at the peak of virus.
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