‘There are now more people in hospital with Covid than when we went into lockdown’ says PM as he announces new three-tier system

Boris Johnson has formally unveiled a new three-tier coronavirus restriction system.

The Prime Minister made a statement in the House of Commons in London, setting out a new three-tier system of controls for coronavirus in England.

England will be placed into “medium”, “high” and “very high” alert levels under the new restrictions, the prime minister said in a statement in the House of Commons.

Mr Johnson told MPs that the coming weeks and months would “test the mettle” of the country as it faced a second wave of Covid-19 cases.

A postcode checker will be launched on the Government’s website to advise people what guidance applies to their area.

Each local authority area will be placed in a local Covid alert level by the end of Monday, Downing Street said.

The Government has said the new system could not be called a traffic light system because there’s “no green light” - even areas that have relatively few coronavirus cases and lower infection rates will see restrictions remain in place.

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Areas listed as medium will be subject to the same rules as those which currently apply across the country, such as the rule of six and the 10pm hospitality curfew.

Mr Johnson warned that there are more people in hospital with coronavirus than when the country first went into lockdown and that deaths are rising.

He told the commons: “This morning, the deputy chief medical officer set out the stark reality of the second wave of this virus.

“The number of cases has quadrupled in the last three weeks, there are now more people in hospital with Covid than when we went into lockdown on March 23 and deaths are already rising.”

In the high alert level, which will apply to most of the areas already subject to restrictions, household mixing will be banned indoors. Support bubbles will still be permitted, however.

The very high alert level will apply to areas causing the most concern, and social mixing will be prohibited indoors and in private gardens.

Pubs and bars will be closed in the very high alert level areas unless they can operate as a restaurant. People will also be advised against travel in and out of the areas.

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