Great Britain

Tier 3 shoppers prepare for Christmas at home by stocking up on tellies, trees and toilet roll ahead of new restrictions

TIER 3 shoppers are preparing for Christmas at home by stocking up on tellies, trees and toilet roll. 

Pictures show long queues outside Costco in Manchester this morning just days before the region sees harsh new restrictions imposed.

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One couple appeared to be preparing to put their feet up for the festive period after buying a massive 55 inch Sony TV. 

Others were seen emerging from the store with huge Christmas trees, while one organised shopper got their presents in early with a giant teddy bear. 

And in a throwback to scenes from the first lockdown in March, some shoppers were snapped with trolleys filled to the brim with toilet roll. 

Manchester, along with swathes of the North West, will be plunged into Tier 3 when the national lockdown comes to an end on Tuesday.

The most recent data shows the city's infection rate has dropped to 265.7 per 100,000 population for the week up to November 20.

While this is a significant drop on the previous week's figure of 378.6 per 100,000, government officials claimed it wasn't significant enough for the region to escape harsh Tier 3 restrictions.


Meanwhile new figures showed the North West had the lowest R rate in the UK - but still faces Tier 3 rules.

Under the restrictions, non-essential shops will open but the hospitality industry will remain closed except for takeaway and delivery.

Households are banned from mixing indoors - but schools, gyms and places of worship remain open.

The rules on hospitality will also remain in Tier Three areas during the five day lockdown holiday from December 23 - meaning most Brits won't be heading to the pub on Christmas Eve.

Brits in Tier Two are also likely to be putting their feet up for Christmas.

The government last week confirmed that festive bubbles will not be allowed to meet in hospitality venues, dashing hopes of a Christmas Eve night out.

Just three areas will be under the lowest Tier 1 restrictions - Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly.

Boris Johnson said yesterday he realised the rules are  "frustrating" - particularly for people in areas of low infection - but said they are necessary to control the disease.

He said: "The difficulty is that if you did it any other way, first of all you'd divide the country up into loads and loads of very complicated sub-divisions - there has got to be some simplicity and clarity in the way we do this.

"The second problem is that, alas, our experience is that, when a high incidence area is quite close to a low incidence area, unless you beat the problem in the high incidence area, the low incidence area, I'm afraid, starts to catch up."

The Sun reported today how towns and villages near coronavirus hotspots could be lifted out of tougher tiers to quell a backlash from Tory MPs.

MPs are understood to have been told that rural areas with low infection rates could be "decoupled" from cities in Tiers 2 and 3.

Officials are trying to win round rebels who have threatened a mutiny when the tough measures are voted on next week, The Telegraph reports.

Up to 70 MPs are thought to be considering whether to oppose the new Tier restrictions- but they are unlikely to be able to vote it down as Labour will likely back it.

Five regions across the nation will jump from Tier 1 straight up to 3 after cases in some parts of their areas shot up.

But the scheme would mean MPs in some areas "unfairly" dragged into Tiers 2 and 3 will be offered the chance to breakaway if their infection rates are low.

It would come into effect when the tier review is carried out in mid-December with Matt Hancock among ministers who has discussed the idea with backbenchers.

The Sun revealed earlier that the strict Tier rules are likely to remain in place until Easter Monday in a bid to protect the NHS.

Boris Johnson hopes coronavirus cases will have tailed off by April 5 and the economy can reopen.

A senior government source told The Sun: “Boris will not countenance hospitals overflowing like they did in Italy.

“Nor can we get to the stage where we have to cancel operations and treatments. In all likelihood, the tiers have to stay.”

It comes as new figures showed that the number of new daily coronavirus cases has plunged to almost half the amount recorded at the end of October.

There are currently 24,937 new infections being logged every day in Britain - almost half the 43,569 recorded daily during the last week of October, according tothe ZOE Covid Symptom Study app.

The R rate is currently highest in the South East at between 1.0 and 1.2, followed by London at 1.0 and 1.1.

The East of England, Midlands, and the South West are all sitting at somewhere between 0.9 and 1.1, according to Sage.

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