Will the UK go into Tier 5 lockdown? See the rumored new restrictions
Even after the November lockdown, the United Kingdom (UK) could be preparing to implement even stricter restrictions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as they possibly enter a Tier 5 lockdown.
Even amidst the rollout of several new vaccines to help combat coronavirus, the newfound strain is expected to reproduce at a whopping rate, possibly giving UK authorities the excuse to implement harsher restrictions come the new year.
While not necessarily adapting to the title of “Tier 5”, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies has requested Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson that he immediately implement stronger restrictions that will help stop the new virus variant from spreading.
What the experts predict
Different cities & sections of England have been labeled with “Tiers” matching coronavirus cases & overall spread. Tier 1 is described as “medium risk” while Tier 4 represents “lockdown”, which much of the UK is in right now.
Government scientists & health experts have advised the PM that a new national lockdown, similar to the November lockdown during which schools were allowed to stay open, may not be enough to slow virus spread. Because of the new variant that spreads COVID faster, it was predicted that the R-rate or reproduction number would surge above 1 come the new year.
The new measures – more strict than the November recommendations – recommend all secondary schools close their doors, while nonessential shops as well as pubs and other restaurants remain closed in the month of January 2021.
The Prime Minister’s thoughts
PM Boris Johnson did have some comments regarding an impending UK lockdown, saying how the UK needs to buy some time in order to get the new vaccines in as many of the elderly and vulnerable as possible.
“We believe that we’re going to have to get through this tough period now with, as I have said many times, very tough restrictions, with tough tiering. As much as I regret that, I do think it is necessary for us to drive this virus now to stop it running out of control in January.”
On Christmas Eve PM Boris Johnson refused to rule out a third UK lockdown, citing the statistic that the new coronavirus variant is believed to be up to 70% more contagious than the original early 2020 strain.
What could Tier 5 mean?
Even without confirmation, many are speculating a possible Tier 5 could be as serious as a total ban from leaving one’s household aside from essential trips.
Currently, under the guidelines of Tier 4, certain businesses such as bars & restaurants are still allowed to operate as takeaway services. A Tier 5 could possibly end this.
Fearing a worst-case scenario, many are speculating that Tier 5 would not only see a more intense version of November’s UK lockdown, but that it would entail restrictions that the UK has not yet seen, including a ban on walking outside or gathering of non-family members, etc.
Expected to take place by December 30, 2020, the UK government will have their next formal review of lockdown tiering decisions. The authorities look at the available data determining population by region and the spread of the virus and assess what tier is required to protect communities that might be suffering worse than others.
The government claims that they keep their data under “constant review” and that they’re unafraid to act quickly in order to protect those susceptible to the virus.
What do you think about a possible “Tier 5” and another UK lockdown? Let us know below.