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Boris Johnson could plunge MILLIONS into Tier 4 Covid lockdown from Thursday as two thirds of England face tougher curbs


TWO thirds of England could be put into Tier 4 lockdown from as early as Thursday after daily Covid cases soared to a record 53,135.

The PM was today deciding whether to extend the toughest laws to Lancashire, the Midlands and Cumbria.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair a meeting to discuss the new tiers tonight

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair a meeting to discuss the new tiers tonightCredit: Peter Jordan – The Sun
The latest ZOE Covid app data suggests eight places could move into Tier 4

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The latest ZOE Covid app data suggests eight places could move into Tier 4

In addition, school pupils in Years 11 and 13 are likely to be delayed from returning until Monday January 11.

Other secondary pupils have already been told their returns will be staggered to give headteachers time to install mass testing regimes in classrooms.

Ministers had previously insisted exam-year pupils in England would return to school on January 4.

Those kids are now poised to join all secondary years in starting the term remotely.

But primary schools are likely to reopen as planned as part of a compromise plan in the education sector.

With infections still rising rapidly, PM Boris Johnson — seen today out jogging with dog Dilyn — looks certain to move millions more into the strictest Tier 4 measures.

Millions more people could be placed into tougher Tier 4 restrictions tomorrow

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Millions more people could be placed into tougher Tier 4 restrictions tomorrowCredit: London News Pictures

They would join 24 million in the South East and East of England. The changes could come into effect on Thursday — but will be in place by Saturday at the latest.

But there were dire warnings from scientific advisers, who told the PM that harsher measures will have to be imposed on the rest of the country if schools are to reopen next month.

Leading lockdown expert Prof Neil Ferguson said even keeping schools and universities shut might not be enough to regain control of the new strain of Covid.

Meanwhile the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency was facing huge pressure to finally give the go-ahead to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

An announcement is expected tomorrow or the day after. Health bosses warned that today’s surge in Covid cases was of “extreme ­concern”.

It comes as there were more worrying scenes of ambulances queueing to get into A&E departments in Essex and London.

In another blow, it has emerged talks have been held about the Premier League taking a two-week break next month amid rising cases among players.

Clubs discussed taking a cooling-off period following an outbreak in Manchester City’s squad that caused their game against Everton on Monday to be postponed.

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Covid pandemic ‘is very severe but not necessarily the big one – these threats will continue’, WHO warns





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