New stricter tier restrictions come into force

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The new tier system for England introduced by the government sees tough measures imposed on most of the country. Only one per cent of areas are in the lowest tier, Tier 1. Everywhere else is under Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions.

Dr Peter Finn, senior politics lecturer at Kingston University, believes that there is no way past the current restrictions in London, despite the fact that  many London boroughs have low infection rates.

He said: “It would be incredibly complex to break it down by borough. London essentially operates as a single entity, with many people crossing numerous boroughs to go to work, school or university.”

“If things were broken down by boroughs, you would have situations where various different rules would apply in the same neighbourhoods. Messaging around this would be pretty much impossible,” said Finn.

Only one London MP, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, voted against the restrictions. But others have voiced their misgivings. Stephen Hammond, Conservative MP for Wimbledon, said that Londoners are being treated unfairly whilst the rest of the country is “being looked at on a more localised basis.”

The rules in the new tier system are stricter than before. For example the new rules for Tier 2 say that customers can only buy alcohol with a substantial meal. 

The government have announced separate guidance for the Christmas period for the five days between 23rd and 27th December when three households can form a ‘Christmas bubble’. After that it looks like the stricter Tier rules will continue, possibly even until the spring.

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