Do you think Newark and Sherwood should be in tier 3?

Ruben Hill
November 27, 2020

Boris Johnson is trying to fight off a growing backlash among Conservative MPs over the new coronavirus tiers, with more than 50 going public with their concerns.

"I know it is frustrating for people when they are in a high-tier area when there is very little incidence in their village or their area. I totally understand why people feel so frustrated", the PM said.

Tiers will be reviewed weekly, with the first review taking place a fortnight after lockdown ends, on Wednesday December 16.

The tier allocations caused dismay among MPs of all parties, with many furious that their constituencies were put under harsh restrictions because of high Covid numbers in neighbouring areas.

Out of those areas to go into Tier 3, only eight of 119 have reported a rise in cases.

The tier system will be put to a vote in the Commons on Tuesday and there's the prospect that up to 70 Tory MPs - members of the Covid Research Group - could reject the PM's proposals.

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.

Mr Johnson said he was forced to use the tough measures because the incidence of coronavirus is "still really pretty high".

Former Labour chairman Andrew Gwynne criticised inconsistencies in the rules, adding: 'I will never understand the logic of a tiering system that says it's okay for thousands to cram into a shopping centre in the run-up to Christmas, but small numbers from the same household are unable to sit responsibly for a meal and a drink in a bar or restaurant'. Since March, it has spent close to £400 billion, plunged the economy into its worst downturn for 300 years, restricted personal liberties more than at any time outside of a war and yet after all that only the Isles of Scilly, the Isle of Wight and Cornwall are deemed safe enough to meet a friend indoors for lunch. The city entered lockdown under Tier 3, but will exit it in Tier 2.

According to a tally by Sky News, a total of 57 Tories have voiced their unhappiness over tiering or have said they are unlikely to support the measures when it comes to a vote next week.

Mr Johnson said the measures struck a balance that allowed some activities, such as schools, to continue while constraining others like pubs, which have been sacrificed.

Tier 3: No mixing indoors. People can only meet outdoors in limited places such as parks and public gardens.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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