Great Britain

Covid infections drop AGAIN as anger mounts over 99% of England being put in Tiers 2 and 3

On Thursday the UK recorded 17,555, down from 18,213 on Wednesday while the seven-day rolling average has continues to drop. The latest test and trace figures show in the week to November 18, a total of 152,660 people tested positive for COVID-19 in England.

This was down 9 percent on the previous week's total of 168,250 and the first week-on-week fall since August.

Infections across England are levelling off but there are still wide regional variations, according to the Office for National Statistics, which found around one in 85 people were infected with coronavirus in the week November 15 to 21.

The decrease comes as Boris Johnson is facing a backlash after the government revealed 99 percent of areas in England would be placed under Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions next week.

Covid infections drop AGAIN as anger mounts over 99% of England being put in Tiers 2 and 3

Covid infections drop AGAIN as anger mounts over 99% of England being put in Tiers 2 and 3 (Image: GETTY)

boris johnson

Boris Johnson said he felt 'sorry' to have to place millions in England under the strictest tiers (Image: GETTY)

More than 55 million people in England will continue to face strict coronavirus curbs after the national lockdown lifts on December 2.

Only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly - accounting for little over 1 percent of England's population - have been placed in the lowest Tier 1 set of restrictions, with all other areas set to face more serious limits to their freedom.

Large swathes of the Midlands, North East and North West are in the most restrictive Tier 3, but the majority of people - including London - will be in Tier 2.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference on Thursday, the prime minister warned England would still have to "navigate a hard winter" after the lockdown eases. 

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Boris Johnson defended his tier system amid a backlash (Image: GETTY)

He said: "If we ease off now, we risk losing control of this virus all over again, casting aside our hard-won gains and forcing us back into a New Year national lockdown with all the damage that would mean."

Defending his tier system set to be re-introduced next week, Mr Johnson insisted it was the "best way" to tackle the pandemic during the winter months. 

He added: "Our decisions on which area enters which tier are based on public health advice according to five indicators: cases across all ages, especially the over 60s, the rate by which cases are rising or falling, the percentage of those tested in a local population who have COVID, and the pressure the NHS."

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Rules will be relaxed in England for Christmas (Image: GETTY)

england lockdown

The majority of England will be placed under Tier 2 and Tier 3 (Image: GETTY)

He said he felt "sorry to confirm" that as of Wednesday the majority of England would be placed in the top two tiers. 

Across England, some 23.3 million people - 41.5 percent of the population - will be placed under Tier 3.

A further 32 million people – 57.3 percent – will be in the second tier.

The top tier will mean a ban on household mixing, except in limited areas such as parks.

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UK coronavirus map (Image: EXPRESS)

boris johnson

The PM leaves Downing Street on Thursday (Image: GETTY)

Bars and restaurants will be limited to takeaway or delivery services and people will be advised to avoid travelling outside their area.

The middle tier will see households banned from mixing indoors, while pubs and restaurants will only be able to sell alcohol with a “substantial meal”.

Non-essential shops, which were shuttered during the lockdown, will be allowed to reopen in all areas. 

This is a breaking news story… More to follow…

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