'Tier 5' lockdown for England being considered by government
Harsher restrictions than November could be imposed in the New Year, a Tier 5, it's reported
A lockdown stricter than current Tier 4 measures is being considered by the government, it is reported.
SAGE last week directly advised Downing Street that secondary schools should not open in January, contrary to current policy, and that a harsher lockdown than that of November should be considered in order to keep the infection R rate below 1.
Government scientists have said that a repeat of November, shutdown but with schools open, would not be sufficient to control the virus, Politico reports.
It's also understood that the coronavirus strain originating from South Africa is now spreading faster than the other variant found in the UK and shutting secondary schools would be more impactful than closing primaries.
Several newspapers are also reporting that little more than a week after the creation of localised Tier 4 measures, Boris Johnson's government is considering harsher national restrictions.
An anonymous source told The Express: "We are ruling nothing out, the new strain is of serious concern. Tier 4 appears to not be strong enough. [We could be] adding another level onto Tier 4, so like a Tier 5."
In Tier 4 all non essential businesses are closed, restaurants and pubs may only provide a takeaway service but schools remain open. There is also a general stay at home order, only permitting people to go outside for limited reasons. Indoor social mixing is banned, as is international and domestic travel.
Tier 5 would go further than this.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: "The Government's Covid operations committee is meeting later today to review further evidence.
"We keep this under review, we are constantly hearing from our scientific advisers about what we should do."