England to end national lockdown, but impose stricter regional system
England will impose a strengthened version of an earlier three-tiered system of local restrictions to curb COVID-19 when the national lockdown ends Dec. 2, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office has announced.
Why it matters: Johnson, who's expected to outline this "COVID winter plan" Monday, is being urged by scientists not to relax rules over Christmas and pressed by his Conservative Party members of parliament to discontinue strict measures that impact local economies, The Guardian notes.
- 32 Conservative MPs voted earlier this month against the current national lockdown, while 17 others abstained — including former British Prime Minister Theresa May.
By the numbers: Official figures show the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus in the U.K. fell 13% in the seven days to Saturday, with just over 149,000 new cases confirmed.
- 2,861 deaths from COVID-19 were reported in the same period — a 0.6% decrease.
- Hospitalizations rose 6.1% in seven days, with 12,101 coronavirus patients admitted to the hospital.
Background: Under the highest level of the previous three-tier system, bars not serving meals closed and households were prohibited from mixing indoors or in some outdoor spaces.
- The Liverpool city region and Greater Manchester in northern England were among the first to enter level three restrictions, prompting their mayors to complain that the rules were biased in favor of southern areas.