The COVID-19 Winter Plan sets out how national restrictions in England will be lifted on 2 December. It is stated that this is only possible because everyone’s efforts during the current restrictions in England have slowed the spread of the virus and eased the pressure on the NHS.
On 2 December, across all of England, regardless of tier:
- the stay at home requirement will end, with travel being permitted again subject to guidance in each tier
- shops, personal care, gyms and the wider leisure sector will reopen
- collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume
- people will no longer be limited to seeing only one other person in outdoor public spaces - the rule of 6 will now apply outdoors as it did in the previous set of tiers
This will apply in all areas of England, irrespective of the local alert level.
However, the point that the virus is still present is made, and if we aren’t careful, that it could quickly get out of control again before vaccines and community testing can have an effect. That would put in jeopardy the progress the country has made and once again risk intolerable pressure on the NHS and squeezing out non-Covid patients from vital operations.
Making the point that this is why, on 2 December, England will move back into a regional, tiered approach – because it is right to target the toughest measures in the areas where higher rates of infection are seen.
These tiers are designed to suppress the spread of infection and therefore support areas to move down the tiers. The government will determine the tier each area will go into on 2 December and how areas move between tiers thereafter. This will be based on clear indicators of the level of the virus, the rate of increase and capacity in the NHS.
Previous tiers will be refined i.e. 10pm closing for hospitality will be changed to 10pm for last orders and closure at 11pm to allow gradual dispersal of people. Spectator sport and businesses events can resume inside and outside with capacity limits and social distancing.
Christmas is the season to be jolly, but being ‘jolly careful’ is the message, with some social meeting between families hopefully being permitted, we await details.
For further information: