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Boris Johnson 'facing Tory revolt' over plans to impose tough restrictions on 99% of English population

More than 55 million people will be placed into Tier 2 and Tier 3 from next week.

Boris Johnson addresses the nation yesterday
Boris Johnson addresses the nation yesterday
Image: PA Images

UK PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson is facing a furious reaction from Conservative MPs over his plans to impose tough restrictions on 99% of England after 2 December.

More than 55 million people will be placed into Tier 2 and Tier 3 measures when the second national lockdown ends next week, meaning mixing between households indoors will effectively be banned for the vast majority of the country.

Only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly – accounting for little more than 1% of England’s population – face the lightest Tier 1 Covid-19 restrictions.

Large swathes of the Midlands, North East and North West are in the most restrictive Tier 3, which accounts for 41.5% of the population, or 23.3 million people.

The majority of authorities – including London – will be in Tier 2, which will cover 57.3% of the country, or 32 million people.

Only eight of 119 areas set to go into Tier 3 have reported a recent rise in cases.

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the influential 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs, said Johnson’s decision would make it “harder” to push the measures through Parliament.

The Daily Mail is reporting that up to 70 Government backbenchers are prepared to rebel against the proposals in a vote on the regulations next week.

Brady told BBC Two’s Newsnight: “By forcing so much of the country into those really tough restrictions, especially places where the rates of infection have been falling to much lower levels, I think the Government has given itself a much harder job.”

In Tier 1, the ‘rule of six’ applies indoors and outdoors but in Tier 2 there will be a ban on households mixing indoors, and pubs and restaurants will only be able to sell alcohol with a “substantial meal”.

Tier 3 measures mean a ban on households mixing, except in limited circumstances such as in parks.

In these areas, bars and restaurants will be limited to takeaway or delivery services and people will be advised to avoid travelling outside their area. Shops and schools will remain open in all tiers.

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Some MPs were left angered after seeing their areas escalated up two tiers compared to their status before the November lockdown.

The Government has promised to publish an impact assessment of the measures before MPs vote on them on 1 December, following complaints economic harm and the knock-on health impacts of restrictions were not being properly considered.

The Prime Minister, due to visit a science laboratory in Wiltshire on Friday, told a Downing Street press conference that “your tier is not your destiny” and cited the planned extension of mass community testing, as seen in Liverpool, as a possible “escape” from the toughest measures.

A review of the tiers is scheduled for 16 December, but the Times reported that the Government is not expecting to make any changes until the new year.

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