‘Tier 5’ fears rise as Matt Hancock to announce latest lockdown changes tomorrow

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The government will announce the latest round of changes to the UK's tiered lockdown system at around 3pm tomorrow – as fears grow that a new 'Tier 5' of higher restrictions will be unveiled.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is scheduled to address MPs in the House of Commons at around 3pm on Wednesday, December 30 on the government's coronavirus response.

MPs are back in Westminster for one day only to vote on the Christmas Eve Brexit deal.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to discuss new tier arrangements at a Covid-O meeting later today.

The PM has committed to reviewing the tier system on a fortnightly basis, and the government will move areas depending on how they're coping with the virus.

Earlier this week, government experts told the Express that current restrictions – even in Tier 4 areas – were not having the desired effect on the spread of the virus.

It sparked rumours that plans are being drawn up for a wave of harsher restrictions, more akin to the national lockdown back in November. However, it is unclear whether or not the new measures will be described as a fifth tier.

Do you think the UK needs harsher restrictions than the current Tier 4? Let us know in the comments below.

  • 'Tier 5' decision could be made as early as Wednesday as cases spike after Christmas

"We are ruling nothing out, the new strain is of serious concern," a senior Whitehall source told the Express.

"Tier 4 appears to not be strong enough."

It's unknown what further restrictions would entail. March's full national lockdown saw Brits forbidden from leaving their homes except to buy essentials, exercise or seek medical attention.

Yesterday, the UK recorded its highest ever spike in new coronavirus infections with more than 41,000 people testing positive.

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