Boris Johnson has unveiled his ‘Covid Winter Plan’ in the House of Commons this afternoon, whilst outlining England’s return to a three tier system.
He confirmed that national restrictions in England will end on 2 December and will “not be renewed”. This will mean that non-essential retail, gyms and the wider leisure sector will be permitted to reopen from next week, according to the PM.
Nonetheless, he noted that the pandemic was still “widespread in many areas”, adding that the UK will take a regional approach to restrictions and that tiers “need to be made tougher”.
Tiers will be a “uniformed set of rules”, according to the Prime Minister. While pubs and restaurants will be permitted to trade as normal in tier 1 and 2, for example, businesses in tier 3 must only operate through takeaway-services.
The PM also made changes to the 10pm hospitality curfew. Last orders will be made at that time, though pubs can remain open to customers until 11pm.
He noted that the latest plan is designed to “carry us safely to spring”, adding that the deployment of vaccines should reduce the need for ongoing restrictions.
It comes as Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium, recently said: “The most important issue is to ensure all shops can reopen from the start of December as the all-important Christmas shopping period gets into full swing.
“Retailers have spent hundreds of millions on safety measures to protect colleagues and customers, and they stand prepared for reopening.”