Last reviewed 17 December 2020

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced the outcome of the Government’s latest review of the three-tier system and, while there are some slight improvements, the main direction of the changes is into more restrictive measures.

To start with the good news, Bristol and North Somerset are to move from tier three to tier two at 00:01 on Saturday 19 December with Herefordshire moving from tier two to tier one, having seen a sharp fall in rates of infection.

However, Mr Hancock said, cases are up by 46% in the past week in the south-east of England and up by two-thirds in the east of England so there would have to be several moves into tier three to contain the virus.

Specifically, and again from 00:01 on 19 December, the following areas will all become tier three:

  • Bedfordshire

  • Buckinghamshire

  • Berkshire

  • Peterborough

  • Hertfordshire

  • Surrey, except Waverley

  • Hastings and Rother

  • Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant.

Mr Hancock said that there are 18,038 people in hospital with coronavirus across the UK and that the colder, winter months are always the most difficult for people's health.

“No one wants tougher restrictions any longer than necessary,” he concluded.