LEADERS in the North East, Teesside, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire have started government talks about moving to a tier three lockdown. Matt Hancock confirmed the move this evening, October 19.
Speaking at the House of Commons he said, ‘Following the successful introduction of measures in Liverpool and Lancashire, talks are continuing this afternoon led by (the Communities Secretary) with Greater Manchester, and this week further discussions are planned with South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, the North East and Teesside.’ Tier three (also known as ‘very high’) is the highest category of restrictions in England.
It includes a ban on meeting socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they are part of your household or support bubble, including private homes and pubs.
Pubs and bars will be closed unless they are serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. Office workers who can work effectively from home ‘should do so over the winter’ in these areas, government guidelines say.
However, schools are able to remain open as closing them is seen as a last resort.
It comes as a 17-day ‘firebreak’ lockdown was announced for Wales from Friday, October 23, taking the whole nation back to conditions last seen in March when there were full lockdown conditions and people were told to stay at home aside from limited exceptions.
Non-essential shops, as well as pubs and restaurants, will be closed across the country. The ‘firebreak’ will start when the schools break up for half term and last just over two weeks until November 9, as the country battles the second wave of the pandemic.
First Minister Mark Drakeford claims the lockdown will be a ‘short, sharp, shock to turn back the clock, slow down the virus and give us more time’. Meanwhile, talks about Greater Manchester moving to tier three ended today without an agreement.