North East to be out of Tier 3 by Christmas after Boris backtracks again

Hawksley reports on potential changes to 'Tier 3' in the North East.

Emily Hawksley
14th December 2020

The North East could be out of Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions by Christmas according to Boris Johnson. This backtrack comes after the Prime Minister bowed down to pressure from Tory MPs who threatened a Commons revolt.

According to new reports, the North East is set to have Tier 3 restrictions in place until December 16, when it would be downgraded to Tier 2. This change is expected to affect 16.4 million people living in 88 boroughs in Tier 3.

Mr Johnson announced that tiers would be scrapped altogether in February, unless MPs want them to continue.

However, Johnson's tier plans have raised some new questions. For example, the Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove published a 2000-word article expressing the need for entire countries to be under tiers because “casting the net wide is more effective”. Gove also claimed that without the curb, hospitals would be overwhelmed.

However, Tory MP Tobias Ellwood said that Gove had been “completely disingenuous because one of our Nightingale temporary hospitals are underused”.

The move has put Boris Johnson on a collision course with scientists, and the Chief Medical Officer Chris Witty said that while Tier 3 would cut the infections, Tier 2 was capable of only “holding the line”.

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