The Prime Minister is due to set out plans of how England will exit lockdown later today.
The country was put under stricter coronavirus regulations on November 5, and these are set to end on December 2.
After the Government thrashed out plans over the weekend, Boris Johnson is set to outline how it will work in a press conference from Downing Street this afternoon.
Here is all the information we know so far.
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Will lockdown be extended?
No – Boris Johnson will confirm today the lockdown is set to end on December 2, but it will be replaced with a regionalised tiered system similar to the one seen before the lockdown started.
Will the tiers be the same?
No. Although the Government will revert to a three-tier system, chancellor Rishi Sunak has revealed it will be ‘tougher’ than before the lockdown.
What were the tiers before?
There were three tiers of restrictions in England. Tier 1 contained only national restrictions, like the 10pm curfew and the rule of six.
Tier 2 allowed the rule of six outdoors, but there was a ban on indoor socialising. Tier 3 restricted pubs and restaurants to providing a takeaway service only and the rule of six was out of bounds completely – even outdoors.
What will reopen when the lockdown ends?
Shops are expected to reopen after the lockdown to allow them some Christmas trade.
Gyms are expected to reopen, and outdoor sport is likely to be able to restart.
The 10pm curfew is expected to be scrapped and replaced with an 11pm curfew.
However, betting shops are likely to close and hospitality venues will probably remain takeaway-only in parts of the country which are under higher tiers.
There may also be restrictions on houses mixing within places which are reopening.
Will I be able to see family and friends?
The rule of six will be put back in place after the national lockdown ends.
But this is thought to only apply outdoors, as indoor socialising with other households will remain banned in the top two tiers and is expected to be restricted in the lowest tier as well.
What is the plan for Christmas?
Mr Johnson is thought to be pushing for a five-day break from the rules, allowing ‘limited household bubbling’. He is working with the devolved nations – Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales – to produce a joint nationwide approach.
But this idea is thought to be unpopular with scientists and still being discussed in Government.
It is understood the PM will be unable to say yet how many households will be allowed to mix and for how many days restrictions will be eased.
How will they pick which tier my area goes into?
It will be announced on Thursday which tiers will apply to which parts of the country.
The decision will depend on a range of factors, including the number of Covid cases, local NHS capacity and the local R number – the rate at which the virus is spreading. But Government sources have said that ‘most people’ will be in the top two tiers.
How long will the new tier system last?
Government sources said it was expected to remain in place until the spring, when a full mass vaccination programme is expected to be in place.
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