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A new tougher regional tier system will be introduced once national lockdown ends on December 2, with details of which area is in which tier to be confirmed by Thursday.
Which one Liverpool moves into will have a big effect on our hospitality industry and what going out will be like over the next few weeks. Those areas which are placed in Tier 3 will still be restricted to delivery and takeaway only whereas pubs and bars in Tier 2 will have be able to serve alcohol as long as it’s with a meal.
The controversial 10pm curfew has been replaced by a 10pm last orders with closing by 11pm.
Liverpool’s coronavirus infection rate has dropped to the lowest it’s been in two months so the city is optimistic of being placed into Tier 2.
The infection rate per 100,000 is now just under 222 compared to mid-October when it spiked at around 700. That means that for the first time in almost three months, Liverpool is now lower than the current UK average.
Liverpool’s Mayor Joe Anderson believes that the drop – combined with the city’s response to mass testing – will put Liverpool in a strong position to argue against being put back into the highest tier once the nationwide lockdown lifts. Liverpool’s high rates back in October led to us becoming the first area in England to be placed under the Government’s Tier 3 restrictions.
By Friday, at the end of the first two weeks of the mass testing pilot, nearly 153,000 tests had been carried out in the city, including over 93,000 lateral flow tests providing results within an hour. Testing is still taking place at centres across the city and with more than 2,000 positive results already, Cllr Anderson has urged more people to take part.
Find your nearest test centre here.
Boris Johnson said the rest of the country would be asked to “follow the example of Liverpool” where the numbers taking part in community testing had “contributed to a very substantial fall in infections.” A major programme offering all Tier 3 areas a six-week surge of testing will be rolled out across the country.
He suggested that, if it proved successful, there could be a chance for people who have tested negative to meet with others who are negative.
Nationally, there has still been no confirmation about the number of households which will be allowed to meet up and celebrate over Christmas, and how many days that might be for. That is expected to be announced this week, once all four nations have agreed.
One option that has been discussed is that a bubble of three households could be allowed to meet up for up to five days – from Christmas Eve until December 28. Restrictions on church services could also be lifted so Christmas Day services can be held.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the Government hoped to agree a “cautious, balanced approach” for Christmas “that can allow people to see their families, but also makes sure that we can keep the virus under control”.
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