Coronavirus tier system puts 34million under harsher rules than before lockdown

Boris Johnson's new tier system will hit 34million people with stricter Covid rules than before the national lockdown.

After regions found out what tier they would be going into from December 2, on Thursday, the Prime Minister has come under fire from local leaders, including MPs from his own party.

It has been calculated that 61% of people living in England must follow tougher restrictions from next week than when the nation plunged into lockdown on November 5.

The decision to place 55 million people into tiers two and three has been questioned not least because current data suggests the R rate of infection has fallen to below 1 .

Out of the 119 areas declared as going into Tier three when lockdown ends, coronavirus rates have been falling in 111 of them.

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Despite hospitality venues and non-essential shops being closed for almost a month, around 29.5 million Brits will be going up a tier and 4.6 million are moving up two.

Just 3% of the population will have more social freedoms than before with rules relaxed as only Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight are in the new Tier 1.

As part of a furious backlash to the new measures, Tory ministers have threatened a rebellion against the Prime Minister.

Harriet Baldwin, a member of the Covid Recovery Group, said: "There is no logic whatsoever in having a month of lockdown only for people to have to live under an even more severe set of restrictions afterwards."

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Kent MPs in particular have hit back at the entire county being slapped with Tier three restrictions.

Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling, said: "We went into lockdown at Tier 1 and came out at Tier 3.

"This isn't working for us."

Ashford's Damian Green, said: "There are huge anomalies. The second biggest town, Tenterden, in my constituency has no cases, so people living there can drive three miles to Sussex which has higher cases and go to the pub.

"My real fear is that people don't think the restrictions are needed, then they won't obey them."

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Boris Johnson claims that without such measures, the country would be walking into a "New Year national lockdown".

For 23 million people in the Midlands, North East and North West set to live under Tier 3 conditions, no end is in sight for when they can next walk into a pub or restaurant.

Following his 14 days of self-isolation, the PM said: "I know this will bring a great deal of heartache and frustration, especially for our vital hospitality sector – our pubs, our restaurants, our hotels, in so many ways the soul of our communities – which continue to bear a disproportionate share of the burden.

"I really wish it were otherwise, but if we are to keep schools open, as we must, then our options in bearing down on the disease are necessarily limited."

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