BORIS Johnson and Matt Hancock today refused to deny Britain could face an extra Tier 4 of coronavirus restrictions – saying the Government would “rule nothing out”.
It was reported over the weekend that an extra tier on top of the current Tier 3 measures may be introduced if the new rules fail to bring down infections enough.
Boris Johnson has also stressed that the top Tier 3 – which currently covers Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire, Lancashire and Liverpool – is having an effect.
When asked about the possibility of a Tier 4 today the PM said: “We are working at the moment through the Tier 3 strategy.”
He added: “The key thing is that if you’re contacted by NHS Test and Trace and you are told you have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus, the most important thing to do is to self-isolate, to interrupt the chain of transmission.”
Pubs and other places which don’t serve food, along with casinos, indoor soft play and some other businesses are ordered to close in the top level of restrictions.
But if that doesn’t work, then more places may be ordered to close down.
It’s expected that schools and offices will continue to remain open, despite extra rules.
Mr Hancock told BBC Breakfast today of the reports of a Tier 4: “We’ve always said all along that we take nothing off the table.
“Having said that, we have seen the rise in the number of cases has slowed a bit.
“The problem is it’s still going up, and while it’s still going up we’ve got to act to get it under control.
“We rule nothing out but at the moment the three-tier system is what we’re working to and it’s effective in slowing the growth of this virus but it hasn’t brought this curve to a halt.”
A decision about the new restrictions could be made next month once ministers have analysed the effectiveness of the current three-tier system, according to inews.
Other options include a “tier three-plus” strategy and short-term local circuit breaker lockdowns in a bid to bring the R rate down below one, the newspaper reported.
Ministers and the Government’s top scientists have already admitted that the measures may not be enough to control the virus in the top danger areas.
But they’ve not said what else may be brought in on top.
The PM stressed again last week he didn’t want to bring in a national circuit-breaker lockdown like in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
He said the local approach was working and it wouldn’t be fair to apply such harsh restrictions to the whole country again.
Later today more announcements are expected on moving other areas – thought to be possibly Warrington or Nottingham – to Tier 3 in the coming days.