Millions of people in level 3 areas in England await Covid decision | World news

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Millions of people living under the highest level of coronavirus restrictions in England are nervously waiting to see if they will be able to go to the pub or have a meal before Christmas before an announcement on the government prioritization system on Thursday morning.
Although political leaders have publicly advocated for their cities to be moved out of Tier 3 so their hospitality businesses can reopen, few really hope they will be relaxed before Christmas – especially after London has moved to the top tier. . level earlier this week.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to announce the result of his review of the tier system on Thursday morning, with reports suggesting the number of people living under the tightest restrictions may rise rather than decline.

More than 23 million people in the north of England, the Midlands, Bristol and Kent moved directly from the second lockdown to Level 3, and were joined by 11 million more from London and parts of the southeast Tuesday. Infections have declined significantly in most of the affected areas, although rates remain high in some places and have leveled off elsewhere.

France reopened non-essential stores this month, allowing Christmas shopping to begin. But an increase in new infections since then means that if travel is allowed from December 15, then a national 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. curfew will begin which will be lifted for December 24, but not Christmas Day. or New Years Eve. Bars and restaurants won’t reopen until January, and private gatherings are limited to six adults.
GermanyThe ‘lockdown light’ of, with bars and restaurants closed since November, has not proven effective and the country has closed its doors again, closing all essential bar stores (like supermarkets and pharmacies) as well as hairdressers and beauty salons until at least January 10. A maximum of five people from two households can meet, except on December 24, 25 and 26 where up to four close family members from other households can be invited.

AustriaThe strict system lockdown has ended and the country is running a mass program of 10 million tests over the next fortnight in a bid to get more families to reunite over the holiday season. Christmas markets have been canceled.

ItalyThe prime minister said tougher restrictions would be needed during the holiday period, but they have yet to be announced. Interregional travel is already banned from December 20 to January 6, except for professional, health or emergency reasons, and Italians cannot leave their hometowns on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or Christmas Day. ‘Year. The midnight mass on December 24 was brought forward so that worshipers could return home before a national curfew from 10 a.m. to 5 a.m.

Spain called for people to be responsible, but allow travel between regions “for family reasons” between 23 December and 6 January. Regional curfews, which run from 10 p.m. to midnight, will be pushed back to 1:30 a.m. on December 24 and 31, when the limit for gatherings will drop from 6 to 10, a measure that will also apply on the day of Christmas and New Years Day.

the Netherlands imposed a tough Christmas lockdown, shutting down non-essential stores and businesses, gyms, museums, cinemas and theaters for five weeks until January 19. Bars and restaurants have been closed since mid-October. Schools are switching to e-learning and people are advised to stay at home. Households can invite up to two people per day, except from December 24 to 26, when the limit is raised to three, excluding children under 13.

Belgium said households can be in close contact with just one additional person during the Christmas period, although people living alone will be allowed to meet two more. Fireworks should be banned on New Year’s Eve to limit gatherings.

Poland will allow people to spend Christmas only with their immediate families, with no more than five guests to be invited to each household until at least December 27, and travel prohibited outside people’s home towns.

Brittany eases holiday restrictions with “Christmas bubbles” allowing three households to mingle between December 23 and 27. Scientists, government advisers and medical experts have called for an urgent review, suggesting the move could lead to a disastrous third wave of the new year.

Jon Henley Europe correspondent

Andy Street, the Conservative mayor of the West Midlands, was one of many regional leaders to advocate for their region down one level – and for businesses to be paid more if there is no change.

The tweeted: “It is clear that parts of the West Mids are leaving Q3 when the government makes its decision. But if they want to be cautious and keep the other parts in T3, then more money is needed. A monthly grant of £ 3,000 cannot support a closed hotel business. ”

In Tory-controlled Derbyshire, the head of the council, Barry Lewis, has also pleaded for the county to upgrade to Level 2.

He said he wrote to Christopher Pincher, the minister responsible for talks with the East Midlands. If Derbyshire remains at level 3, it will demand ‘more support for hospitality and tourism’, warning that important parts of Derbyshire’s heritage and shopping streets could ‘disappear for good’.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said he feared the government would “overcompensate” in its review of levels after a “mistake” was made in allowing too much mixing at Christmas.


He said there is a “clear case” for parts of Greater Manchester to move from Level 3 restrictions to Level 2 restrictions, using criteria that initially kept London out of Level 3.

Reiterating his call for ‘more support’ for cities to help them ‘come back strong in the New Year’, he told BBC Breakfast: ‘My appeal to the government is: please watch the evidence, please us give the same consideration. which was given in London in particular.

Asked on the BBC’s Today show whether the government was likely to lower restrictions anywhere in England, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The point is, the coronavirus is on the rise. We are seeing an increase in infections. Our goal is to protect the public and support public health. ”



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