Boris Johnson Confirms Pubs Can Stay Open Until 11pm From Next Week
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He added that the national lockdown restrictions would "not be renewed" and that, from next Wednesday, people will be allowed to leave their house "for any purpose", and meet others in outdoor public spaces subject to the rule of six.
The new tier rules will be stricter than those prior to lockdown, however, and it is understood that more regions will be placed in higher tiers.
Pubs in tier three must remain closed except for takeaway, while pubs in tier two will be able to serve alcohol only alongside "subtantial" meals. The 10pm pub "curfew" will be extended to 11pm, with last orders pushed back to 10pm in tiers 1 and 2.
Gyms and non-essential shops in all areas will be allowed to reopen when lockdown ends, Johnson added. They have been closed since lockdown began on since 5th November.
The PM was expected to announce that up to three households would be allowed to meet together over the Christmas period, between 23rd-27th December. However he said only that families would "need to make a careful judgement about the risk of visiting elderly relatives"; further details are expected during a press conference later tonight.
Mass testing is expected to be rolled out across the country following a pilot programme in Liverpool, where more than 200,000 people were tested.
On Thursday the government is set to announce which tier every region of England will be put into. MPs will be able to vote on the tiering system before it comes into force.
These tiers will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and are subject to change based on the latest data and trends.
Meanwhile, the NHS is preparing to administer the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine next month, once it has been approved for use in the UK by regulators. It will be rolled out more widely in the new year.
The government announced on Monday that it had secured 5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, which has been found to be almost 95 per cent effective in preliminary tests.
The vaccine will not be available until spring however the UK also has secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: "We have moved swiftly to secure five million doses of this hugely promising vaccine, meaning we are even better placed to vaccinate everyone who will benefit should the rigorous safety standards be met."