Truck Drivers Blast Horns in Dover as COVID Restrictions Delay Transport
A swathe of areas hit by surging coronavirus rates are likely to be placed into Tier 4 restrictions from Boxing Day, ministers will announce on Wednesday. Ministers are expected to sign off plans for tougher measures for many areas at a meeting of the Covid-O operations committee as concern grows about the virus mutation spreading from the South-East. Government sources have warned that there is a “high chance” of a full national lockdown in the New Year.
On Tuesday, Britain recorded 691 Covid deaths – the second highest daily toll since last May and a jump of a fifth in one week – while daily cases reached 36,804, the highest number recorded yet. Under the Boxing Day measures, the worst-hit places will be plunged into Tier 4 – a “stay home” measure akin to lockdown that was introduced in London and much of the South-East earlier this week – and many areas in the lower tiers could be moved to Tier 3, forcing the closure of all pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops. On Tuesday night, health officials and local leaders in Birmingham held a Gold Command meeting to discuss whether to request that the city and its 1.1 million residents be moved into Tier 4.
Areas on the edges of the current tiers are particularly vulnerable, with health officials warning that the new variant of the virus is “bleeding” across boundaries.
Hotspots of the mutation have been found in Cumbria and Devon, as well as across large parts of Sussex, Surrey, Essex and Norfolk, just beyond the borders of the current Tier 4.