What would a three-tier coronavirus lockdown look like?
BORIS Johnson is expected to back a new three-tier local lockdown system, to fix the confusing medley of Covid restrictions.
Controversially, the Prime Minister's move could see hospitality venues in England's coronavirus hotspots being temporarily closed.
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What would a three-tier lockdown look like?
The PM will on Monday, October 12, announce a new "tiered" approach to how local Covid situations will be treated amid a surge in infections – particularly in the north of England.
Areas with a low rate of infection will be placed in 'Tier 1'.
This lowest tier is where just national restrictions such as the Rule of Six and the 10pm curfew on hospitality venues – including pubs and restaurants – will apply.
Regions in 'Tier Two' will see a ban on home visits and indoor socialising with other households.
And 'Tier Three' will see the most serious measures – including a total closure of the hospitality sector and a ban on overnight stays outside the home. Cinemas must also shut.
With Mr Johnson also poised to order pubs and restaurants to temporarily close down across Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle, ten million Northerners could be back under a tougher lockdown as they fall into Tier 3 of his plans.
Coronavirus cases are doubling about twice as quickly in the northwest, Yorkshire and the West Midlands as across the whole of England, says Imperial College London.
Hospitals across Britain are again filling up with Covid-19 patients – similar to March levels, says deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam.
He's warned MPs that northwest England's intensive care units could be full within just three weeks.
What coronavirus alert level is the UK currently on?
Boris Johnson unveiled a "road map" for ending the UK coronavirus lockdown back in June, which included a five-level "alert system".
Although the alert level had dropped to 1, to reflect the then-low infection rate, a recent spike in coronavirus cases means the UK is currently at 'level 4'.
At level 4, Covid-19 transmission is "high or rising exponentially", explain health bosses.
The PM's five-point alert system ranks the threat level of the virus on a scale of one (green) to five (red).
This threat level arrangement is adjusted and amended depending on medical and scientific data.
Alert level 1
Low: The lowest level of alert would mean that the virus is no longer known to be present in the UK, therefore no restrictions would be needed.
Alert level 2
Moderate: There is a low level of transmission and the NHS is operating normally, resulting in no or minimal social distancing measures.
Alert level 3
Substantial: The coronavirus is in general circulation, but at a level allowing the gradual lifting of some restrictions and social distancing measures.
Alert level 4
Severe: The pandemic is in general circulation, with transmission high or rising exponentially but without the NHS being overwhelmed.
Alert level 5
Critical: The virus is spreading fast and could overwhelm the NHS, therefore strict measures, such as a lockdown, would be needed.
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