New harsher coronavirus tier system could be needed over the winter to control spread, NHS boss says

A NEW harsher coronavirus tiers system could be needed over the winter to stop the spread of the virus, a Government adviser said tonight.

Hopes of lifting lockdown rules after December 2 were dashed tonight after Dr Susan Hopkins said tier one wasn't working – which could put Christmas at risk for the entire country.

Tier one rules – which are the baseline and are in place across the whole of England – include the 10pm pub and restaurant curfew and the rule of six for meeting people.

But tonight it was suggested this may be scrapped or made even tougher.

The next stage up is Tier 2, where people are banned from mixing indoors with people from other households.

Dr Hopkins said tonight: "We see very little effect from Tier one.

"When we look at what the tiers may be in the future we will have to think about strengthening them in order to get us through the winter months until the vaccine is available for everyone."

She suggested that "if the lockdown is working, we will start to see cases decline over the next week".

If it doesn't, then lifting the rules would be at risk, she added.

But it came as the average number of cases rose last week from 22,000 to more than 25,000.

NHS Test and Trace chief medical adviser Dr Hopkins added: "As long as we start seeing cases decline we can start making a judgement about what are the right decisions."

England's one-month lockdown is set to end on December 2, and will be replaced by another tiers system – expected to be slightly different to the last.

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