Tier 4 restrictions had to be introduced across London and southeast England as coronavirus infection rates spiralled out of control. Health Secretary Matt Hancock was confronted about the length of time the rules will remain in place, with Sky News host Sophy Ridge suggesting people in Tier 4 “will not be coming out anytime soon.” Mr Hancock appeared to suggest the end of the restrictions will depend on the speed at which the COVID-19 vaccine is rolled out at.
Ms Ridge said: “Just to prepare ourselves is it likely if you are in a Tier 4 area to you will be in a Tier 4 area until the vaccine is rolled out?”
The Health Secretary replied: “Given how much faster this new variant spreads it’s going to be very difficult to keep it under control until the vaccine’s rolled out.
“We’re really got to get this under control and the cases in the Tier 4 areas, as you’ve seen from the graphs that have been presented, have absolutely rocketed in the last few days.
“We’ve got a long way to go to sort this. Essentially, we’ve got to get that vaccine rolled out to get people safe.”
Asked whether Tier 4 restrictions may be extended to other parts of the UK, Mr Hancock said the Government is hoping to contain the spread of the virus with the stay at home order in place from Sunday.
The Conservative frontbencher continued: “One of the reasons we brought in very strict travel restrictions saying you shouldn’t leave a Tier 4 area, you should stay at home, is to try and prevent this from spreading across the rest of the country and, indeed, to other parts of the country who don’t already have it.
“We’re trying to protect the rest of the country because under the old variant Tier 3 restrictions were working, and you can see that in several parts of England.
“We want to restrict the spread of this as well as stopping out it from spreading in the areas where it’s already rife.”
Published at Sun, 20 Dec 2020 09:13:00 +0000