London, December 17: UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced new lockdown measures in view of Christmas 2020. With the pace of infections continuing to remain in alarming category, the government has decided to impose the strictest - "tier 3" curbs - in areas with high caseload. Vast swathes in southeast England would be placed under tier 3 restrictions.
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Greater Manchester, Portsmouth, Peterborough, Bedfordshire and Berkshire are among the areas where the maximum restrictions would be imposed, Hancock said. In parts of Southeast England, which entails above the regions, a new variant of coronavirus has also been detected, which is considered as the reason behind the sharp spike. New Variant of COVID-19 May be Behind Faster Spread of Infection, Says UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
What Are Tier 3 Restrictions?
Considered as the strictest among the three-phased curbs imposed by the UK, the tier 3 restrictions severely prohibits mass gatherings and attendance at places of leisure including restaurants, pubs and bars.
Only a gathering of six persons is allowed in the public, as per the tier 3 norms. Family get-togethers is capped to a maximum of two households. Indoor stadiums and sporting activities remain closed, whereas, physical attendance is not allowed at outdoor stadiums.
Restaurants, pubs and bars will remain closed, except for takeaway orders and delivering parcels. Travelling to and from areas placed under tier 3 curbs would be severely regulated, and allowed only for essential purpose.
While Southeast England has been placed under tier 3 restrictions, some parts of the country including Bristol and North Somerset have been brought back under the relatively relaxed tier 2 curbs. The decision was taken after the regions reported lower COVID-19 case counts, Hancock told the House of Commons.