The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that as of 00:01 on Saturday 26th December, East and West Sussex (amongst other areas) will be moved into “Tier 4” Coronavirus restrictions.
In a statement he said at the Downing Street briefing the old tiering system was not enough to control the new variant of the virus.
He said cases had been rising in some of the places close to where the current tier four restrictions are, such as East Anglia, which had seen a “significant number” of the new fast-spreading variant.
“It is therefore necessary to put more of the East and South East of England into tier four.”
Areas moving to tier four are: Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, with the exception of the New Forest, and the parts of Essex and Surrey not already in the toughest restrictions.
Mr Hancock also announced that other areas would move into higher tiers.
Areas moving to tier three are: Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, including the North Somerset council area, Swindon, the Isle of Wight, the New Forest and Northamptonshire as well as Cheshire and Warrington.
Cornwall and Herefordshire will move into tier two.
Mr Hancock also revealed the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has now submitted full data to the regulator for approval. He said: “Amid all this difficulty, the great hope for 2021 is of course the vaccine.
“The vaccine is our route out of all this and however tough this Christmas and this winter is going to be, we know that the transforming force of science is helping to find a way through.
“I’m delighted to be able to tell you that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine developed here in the UK has submitted its full data package to the MHRA for approval.
“This is the next step towards a decision on the deployment of the vaccine which is already being manufactured, including here in the UK.”
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