The PM has signed off a new ‘traffic light’ system of curbs that will see the country broken down into categories of high, medium or low risk from Monday, after days of bitter wrangling between ministers and scientists,
Hospitality businesses in ‘red’ zones are set to be shut under the tougher measures, likely to be confirmed Monday and imposed from Wednesday — but shops, offices and schools will stay open. Ministers are still mulling the fate of hairdressers and leisure facilities but Chancellor Rishi Sunak will bring forward a special furlough-style compensation scheme for workers and firms hammered by the curbs.
Merseyside and other parts of northern England are expected to be placed in the harshest bracket, with hospitals admissions and infections continuing to spike, despite local lockdowns being in place for weeks. The Government has not revealed its threshold for its three-tier system.
But the most up-to-date Covid-19 infection rate data shows 214 towns, cities and boroughs saw at least 50 cases for every 100,000 people in the week up to October 5. For comparison, nationwide, England’s infection rate is 59 per 100,000.
Read more: Is Boris Johnson going to shut YOUR local pub? Heat map reveals the 200 towns and cities with high Covid-19 rates that could face tier-three lockdown next week – as Nottingham becomes England’s worst hotspot