Just one area of mainland England to be under Tier 1 restrictions after lockdown

Connor Parker
·4-min read
Practically all of mainland England will be subjet to Tier 2 or 3 measures. (Getty)
Practically all of mainland England will be subjet to Tier 2 or 3 measures. (Getty)

Just one area of mainland England will be under Tier 1 when the country leaves lockdown on December 2, with large parts of the north subject to Tier 3.

Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly are the only regions of England that will be subject to Tier 1.

The three areas under Tier 1 represent just 1% of the population of England.

The rest of the country will be under either the new Tier 2 and 3, both of which are harsher than their previous iterations before lockdown.

The new Tier 2 is similar to the old Tier 3, with pubs and bars forced to close unless they serve substantial meals.

Some 32 million people in England – just over 57% of the population – will be in Tier 2.

Watch: Matt Hancock outlines new regional Covid tiers in England

Read more: What tier are you in?

The rest of England will be under the new Tier 3 which means basically all of the hospitality sector in those areas will be forced to remain closed.

In Tier 1, the rule of six applies indoors and outdoors, people are urged to work from home if they can and pubs are limited to table service.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons: "The lowest case rates are in Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly, which will go into Tier One.

"In all three areas, they've had very low case rates throughout. I want to thank residents for being so vigilant during the whole pandemic."

Some Labour MPs reacted with anger at Hancock’s suggestion the reason those three areas were put under Tier 1 was due to their vigilance and being more responsible.

Toby Perkins, Labour MP for Chesterfield, which will be put under Tier 3, said: “The suggestion by Matt Hancock that the reason that Cornwall, Isle of Wight and Suffolk are lower than rest of England is because their residents have been more responsible is deeply offensive.”

Another Labour MP, Karl Turner who represents East Hull, which will also be put under Tier 3, said it was “disgraceful” to suggest the reason areas put under Tier 1 “have been more responsible.”

He added the “vast majority of people in Hull have done their best to comply.”

Large parts of the North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, the West and East Midlands will all enter Tier 3.

Slough, Kent, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset will also enter Tier 3.

The rest of England will be put under Tier 2 restrictions, which are expected to last until the Spring.

The Liverpool City Region, which was the first area of the country to enter the old Tier 3 system will enter Tier 2 this time round after a drop in cases.

Matt Hancock said: “These are not easy decisions, but they have been made according to the best clinical advice”.

He told MPs: “Thanks to the shared sacrifice of everyone in recent weeks, in following the national restrictions, we have been able to start to bring the virus back under control and slow its growth, easing some of the pressure on the NHS.

“We will do this by returning to a regional tiered approach, saving the toughest measures for the parts of the country where prevalence remains too high.”

The chaotic handling of the announcement saw an online postcode checker allowing people to check which tier their area would be in launch before the official details were released.

The postcode checker then crashed within minutes of it going live.

Hancock told the Commons: “I understand the impact that these measures will have but they are necessary given the scale of the threat that we face.”

The Confederation of British Industry said some businesses would be left “hanging by a thread” as a result of the restrictions.

Watch: PM: Normality is coming, but not until Spring