UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a backlash from Conservative MPs over plans to impose stricter restrictions on 99% of England after December 2.
By the end of the second national lockdown next week, more than 55 million people will be included in Tier 2 and Tier 3 measures, which means that in-house assembly will effectively be banned for the vast majority of the country.
Only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Silly Islands – less than 1% of England’s population – face restrictions on the lightweight Tier 1 Covid-19.
Large assets in the Midlands, North East and North West are the most regulated Tier 3, with 41.5% or 23.3 million people.
Most authorities, including London, will be in Tier 2, comprising 57.3% or 32 million people in the country.
Of the 119 areas set to go to Tier 3, only eight have recently seen an increase in cases.
Sir Abraham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs, said Johnson’s decision would “make it harder” to take action through Parliament.
The Daily Mail reports that 70 government backbenchers are set to run against the proposals in a vote on the rules next week.
Brady told BBC Two’s Newsnight: “I think the government itself has put in a lot of hard work by forcing the country to tighten its controls, especially in areas where the rate of infection is very low.”
In Tier 1, the ‘Six Rule’ applies both inside and outside the home, but in Tier 2 it prohibits mixing in homes, and pubs and restaurants can only sell alcohol with “substantial food”.
Tier 3 measures mean that homes are prohibited from mixing except in limited circumstances such as parks.
In these areas, bars and restaurants will be restricted to takeaway or delivery services and people will be advised to avoid traveling outside their area. Shops and schools will be open on all fronts.
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Some MPs were outraged that their territories had been increased to two columns compared to the level before the November lockdown.
The government has promised to publish an impact assessment of the actions before MPs vote on December 1, as the financial damage and health implications of the complaints have not been properly considered.
On a visit to a science laboratory in Wiltshire on Friday, the Prime Minister told a Dominion Street press conference that “your hierarchy is not your destiny”, citing a planned extension of collective community testing, as seen in Liverpool, from the most drastic possible steps.
A review of the columns is scheduled for Dec. 16, but the Times reported that the government is not expected to make any changes until the New Year.