The Prime Minister has announced a standardisation of the current local rules through the introduction of 3 Local COVID Alert levels across England - set at Medium, High and Very High.
The Medium Alert Level will cover most of the country and will continue the current national measures including 10pm closure of hospitality venues and the ‘Rule of 6’
The High Alert level reflects the interventions in many local areas at the moment. This primarily aims to reduce household to household transmission by preventing all mixing by
different households or support bubbles indoors. In these areas, the Rule of 6 will continue to apply outdoors, where the virus is harder to spread, in public spaces as well as private gardens.
Most areas which are already currently subject to local restrictions will automatically move in to the High Alert level.
The Very High Alert Level will apply where transmission rates are rising most rapidly and where the NHS could soon be under unbearable pressure without further restrictions. In these areas the Government will set a baseline of prohibitng social mixing
indoors and in provate gardens and the closing of pubs and bars.
In Very High Alert areas, the Government will work with local government leaders on the additional measures which should be taken. This could lead to further restrictions on the hospitality, leisure, entertainment, or personal care sectors.
Retail, schools and Universities will remain open.
The Government will expand it’s economic support to support those affected by these decisions, extending the Job Support Scheme to support two thirds of the wages of employees in any business that is required to close and providing those
businesses with a cash grant of up to £3,000 per month. The Government will also provide local authorities across England with around £1bn of new financial support.
For Very High Alert level areas, the Government will give further financial support for local Test & Trace and enforcement. Assistance will be available from the Armed Forces, not for enforcement but rather to
support local services, if desired, in the local area.
The Prime Minister will host a press briefing at 6pm this evening.