England is currently in its second coronavirus lockdown, which bans people from leaving their homes except in ‘essential journeys. Pubs, bars, restaurants and non-essential shops have been told to shut their doors once again and international travel has been banned. Elsewhere in the UK, Scotland has launched a new four-tier system, while Wales has just come out of its firebreak lockdown. In Northern Ireland, the “circuit breaker” lockdown in the country will be extended for another two weeks.
Mr Johnson announced the original three-tier strategy in October, which splits different areas of England into medium, high and very high alert levels.
Areas in the first tier – medium alert – were subject to the same national measures which were in force at the time across the country including a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants and a ban on most gatherings of more than six people.
Under the second tier – high alert – household mixing was banned indoors while the rule of six continued to apply outdoors.
Tier 3 – very high alert – banned social mixing both indoors and in private gardens, while pubs and bars were told to close unless they could operate as a restaurant.
Local leaders were to help determine whether other venues should be closed, such as gyms or casinos, in very high alert level areas.
But the system faced criticised as not being strong enough to reduce the spread of the virus.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make an announcement on Monday about the next restrictions England will face after this current lockdown lifts.
Ministers will set which tier an area will then fall into when the rules lift on December 2.
But while these local measures sound similar to those in place previously, the three tiers will be dramatically strengthened to safeguard the gains made during the national lockdown.
MPs are expected to be given a vote on the new system before it comes into force.
But what will the new tier system look like and how will it change?
Well, it is not yet clear exactly how restrictions could change – cabinet discussions are being held today and the so-called “Covid Winter Plan” is expected to be unveiled on Monday.
Leaked reports suggest the 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants could be altered.
Mr Johnson is expected to say people will get an extra hour to finish their food and drinks after last orders has been called at 10pm.
The plan will also set out how people will be able to spend Christmas, with sources suggesting several families could be allowed to join in one “bubble” between December 22 and 28.