Prime Minister Unveils COVID Winter Plan - 10/12/2020

The lockdown in England is due to end on 2 December 2020. Sticking to that deadline, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out his plan for the next stage in the battle against coronavirus.

In making his announcement he predicted that vaccination programmes will have made lockdowns a thing of the past as soon as Spring 2021.

COVID Winter Plan

Back to regional tiers

The Prime Minister said that England will go back to the three tier system. However, the restrictions in the various tiers will be strengthened. The toughest measures will be introduced where the virus is most prevalent.

There will be a return to the Rule of Six whereby people allowed to meet outdoors, gyms and all shops—this will include hairdressers. Outdoor sports will also resume as will acts of collective worship.

Tier 1 will now mean that people should continue to work from home where possible. Pubs (serving substantial meals) and restaurants will be allowed to re-open in both Tier 1 and Tier 2 areas. However, these establishments must remain as takeaway-only services where Tier 3 is in force.

Last orders will now be at 10pm in those pubs which are open with one hour’s drinking-up time allowed.

Indoor entertainment venues will remain closed in Tier 3 areas.

It’s understood that the Government will confirm which areas will be in the various Tiers on Thursday, 26 November. Mr Johnson has already warned that more areas will move into higher levels of restrictions, at least temporarily.

Enforcement will be strengthened at local authority level. Specially trained officers will have new powers to close down premises that pose a risk.

Testing, testing

Even before the vaccine is here, the Prime Minister said, there is a new tool available.

“We have new rapid turnaround tests that allow us to identify and isolate people who do not have symptoms but are unintentionally spreading the virus,” he went on. “We are deploying these tests to NHS front-line staff, social care and other high-risk or critical settings. We are using them to help schools and universities to function and to drive down the outbreaks of the disease.”

Looking at the possibility of testing entire communities, Mr Johnson said that, in the weeks ahead, his Government will be working with local authorities and communities to ensure that this new tool is made available in the areas that face the toughest restrictions. They’ll target testing at the areas that need it the most.

Read all about it

The full, 64-page, Winter Plan is available here.

It includes details of numerous initiatives which have already been announced including:

  • measures to protect the NHS, the social care sector and the vulnerable;
  • business support and minimising the economic impact of the pandemic; and
  • how the Government is working to protect education.


Andrew Willis – 24th Nov 2020

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