COVID-19: London and Liverpool in Tier 2 of new England system – but Birmingham and Manchester in Tier 3

London and Liverpool will be placed in Tier 2 of England’s new system of COVID-19 restrictions, but Birmingham and Manchester will be in Tier 3.

Matt Hancock will make a statement in the House of Commons on the new COVID-19 tiers shortly, but prior to the announcement the government launched a postcode checker for England’s regions.

The website crashed within minutes of the postcode checker being launched.

The areas in Tier 3 are:

  • Greater Manchester
  • Birmingham
  • Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
  • Leeds
  • Hull
  • City of Wolverhampton
  • Kent and Medway
  • South Yorkshire
  • Bristol
  • Hartlepool
  • Middlesbrough
  • Stockton-on-Tees
  • Redcar and Cleveland
  • Darlington
  • Sunderland
  • South Tyneside
  • Gateshead
  • North Tyneside
  • County Durham
  • Northumberland
  • Lancashire, Blackpool, Blackburn with Darwen
  • The Humber
  • West Yorkshire
  • Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
  • Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull
  • Derby and Derbyshire
  • Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
  • Leicester and Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Slough (remainder of Berkshire is tier 2: High alert)
  • Bristol
  • South Gloucestershire
  • North Somerset

Areas in Tier 2 include:

  • Liverpool City Region
  • London
  • Warrington and Cheshire
  • Cumbria
  • York and North Yorkshire
  • Northamptonshire
  • Rutland
  • Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes
  • Herefordshire
  • Worcestershire
  • Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
  • Essex, Thurrock and Southend on Sea
  • Norfolk
  • Suffolk
  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
  • Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton
  • Surrey
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Oxfordshire
  • Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell Forest, Windsor and Maidenhead, West Berkshire
  • Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
  • Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset
  • Gloucestershire
  • Wiltshire and Swindon
  • Devon

Just two areas are in Tier 1:

  • Isle of Wight
  • Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

The tiered system has been strengthened since the original rules were in place before lockdown, with many more areas in the higher tiers in a bid to keep infection rates down.

In Tier 3, there should be no mixing of households indoors or in most outdoor places, with hospitality venues closed except for takeaway, drive-through or delivery.

Indoor entertainment venues will also be closed, with people urged to avoid travelling outside the area other than where necessary.

In Tier 2, there should be no mixing of households indoors apart from support bubbles, with the rule of six applying outdoors.

Pubs and bars must close unless operating as restaurants, while hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals.

In a move aimed at assuaging anger from local leaders and Conservative MPs Boris Johnson has promised that the tier allocations will be reviewed on 16 December.

And in a bid to soften the blow for Tier 3 areas, ministers are promising them access to rapid-result COVID-19 tests to help bring down infections, as well as cash subsidies.

Extra cash will also be on offer to areas placed into Tier 2 and Tier 3.

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