UK gets harsh on coronavirus lockdown

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to unveil a new three-tier system of measures alongside local regions across the country being handed greater decision-making powers as part of efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The new so-called "traffic light" system, to be laid out in the House of Commons on Monday, will see the most severe measures imposed for areas of England fall within the third tier and people being ordered not to have any social contact with anyone outside their household together with the expected closures of pubs, bars and restaurants where some of the highest numbers of cases are occurring.

Tier one is likely to see people expected to follow the "rule of six" on gatherings and maintain social distancing. Tier two could ban households from mixing in homes, gardens, pubs, bars or restaurants.

According to a letter seen by the BBC, the details of each tier, including the level of infection at which an area would qualify for it and the nature of the restrictions, are being debated this weekend.

Johnson's Chief Strategic Adviser Edward Lister has written to the members of Parliament to highlight engagement with local authority leaders as part of the process. It comes amid mounting criticism of the government using a top-down approach by shutting down parts of northern England without a full engagement process with the local authorities.

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