Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham put in harshest restrictions as Matt Hancock unveils new tiers in England

Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham will be put in the harshest coronavirus restrictions after Matt Hancock unveiled the new tiers for areas all over England.

The Health Secretary today announced a massive 31 areas will be in the highest level of tier three, 38 in tier two, and just three parts of England in tier one.

Making a statement in the Commons this morning, Mr Hancock admitted they were not “easy decisions, but they have been made according to the best clinical advice”.

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He said: “The majority of England will be in tier two, but a significant number of areas, I’m afraid, need to be in tier three to bring case rates done.

Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham will be put in the harshest coronavirus restrictions after Matt Hancock unveiled the new tiers for areas all over England.

“Now I know how tough this is both for areas that have been in restrictions for a long time like Leicester and Greater Manchester and also for areas where cases have risen sharply recently like Bristol, the West Midlands and Kent.

“The full allocations have been published this morning and laid as a written ministerial statement just before this statement began.

“I understand the impact that these measures will have, but they are necessary given the scale of the threat that we face.

“We’ll review the measures in a fortnight and keep them regularly under review after that.”

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Mr Hancock was earlier told off by the Speaker of the House after the tiers were revealed online first, before Parliament had been informed.

This then saw the UK Government's postcode checker crash as the nation desperately tried to see what tier they would be in.

It sees the lockdown end at midnight on December 2, with the “stay at home” order ending with lots of hospitality able to reopen.

Tier two in England allow pubs and restaurants to stay open, but they must serve a “substantial meal”, and different households can only mix outside.

In tier three, households cannot mix indoors our outside, pubs and restaurants have to stay shut, and live events are banned.

Mr Hancock claimed the new measures meant no new lockdown would be needed and that cases were falling.

He told the Commons: “Cases are down by 19 per cent from a week ago and daily hospital admissions have fallen 7 per cent in the last week.

“January and February are always difficult months for the NHS, so it is vital we safeguard the gains we made.

“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 tiering approach provides a framework that, if used firmly, should prevent the need to introduce stricter national measures.”

Mr Hancock said the tiers would be reviewed in a fortnight and kept “regularly under review after that”.

Rebel Tory MPs are demanding a cost-benefit review of the Tiers system, and answers as to how the Government gets out of it.

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