Via a video link into the House of Commons yesterday (Monday 23 November), Johnson said: “Our Covid-19 Winter Plan is to carry out safely to spring. I can confirm national restrictions in England will end on 2 December and they will not be renewed.
“From next Wednesday, people will be able to leave their home for any purpose and meet others in outdoor public spaces subject to the rule of six.
“Collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume and shops, personal care, gyms and the wider leisure sector can reopen. Without sensible precautions we would risk the virus escalating into a winter or new year surge. The incidence of the disease is still widespread in many areas.
“We are not going to replace national measures with a free for all, a status quo anti Covid, we are going to go back instead to a regional tiered approach, applying the toughest measure where Covid-19 is most prevalent.
“While the previous local tiers did cut the R number, they were not quite enough to reduce it below one. The scientific advice is as we come out, our tiers need to be made tougher.”
Trade bodies and licensees have hit back at the new measures, saying the change in the curfew time would “make a little bit of a difference”.
UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls said the new rules on the tiered system is “killing Christmas and beyond for many businesses and their customers”.
British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) chief executive Emma McClarkin warned the additional restrictions will destroy the sector if they go ahead as proposed.