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According to the latest figures, 32.2million people live in Tier 2 areas, 23.3million in Tier 3 and just 713,573 in Tier 1. Only three parts of England; Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly, managed to evade Tier 2 and 3, being the only areas to undergo the weakest level of measures in Tier 1. The three areas were rewarded with the lowest tier restrictions after no confirmed cases were reported there in the past week.
The system will be regularly reviewed, every two weeks, according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
The revised tier system will be voted on by MPs in the House of Commons, but the Government is already facing opposition from its own backbenchers.
Leading Conservative MP Sir Graham Brady said he would vote against the measures when it came time to do so.
Sir Brady said: “I do think that the policies have been far too authoritarian.”
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock took to the Commons to lay out the Government’s reasons for implementing the new system.
Mr Hancock told MPs: “Hope is on the horizon but we still have further to go. So we must all dig deep.
“We should see these restrictions not as a boundary to push, but as a limit on what the public health advice says we can safely do in any area.”
Tier 3 restrictions have been handed out to 21 local authorities across the country, including Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Tees Valley and the North East Combined Authority.
Can I leave a Tier 3 area?
As it stands, people in Tier 3 should not be looking to leave unless for reasons that are absolutely essential.
The Government guidance on the matter reads: “You can continue to travel to venues or other amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible.”
This means try and use alternatives to public transport when you can, or if you absolutely have to, try and plan your journey ahead of time to avoid a rush.
The guidance adds: “Avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary.”
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Necessary reasons include work, education, youth services, receiving medical treatment, and caring responsibilities.
People in Tier 3 are allowed to travel through other tiers in other areas of the country as part of a longer journey.
Those living in Tier 3 should also try and work from home wherever they can.
When it comes to foreign travel, you should check the FCO advice to see whether your destination is on the travel corridor list.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Tier 3 residents would be allowed to travel abroad.
Mr Shapps said holidays would be allowed “if you’re going straight to an airport”, and can travel through other tiers to get to one if needed.
The Government also confirmed there would be no legal repercussions for travelling abroad anywhere from England, subject to the FCO’s rules on quarantine.
From December 15, those coming back to Britain from a country not on the travel corridor list will have the option to cut their self-isolation time short by paying to have a Covid test five days after arrival in the UK.
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