Tougher Covid-19 restrictions begin for millions of people across England and Wales

23 October 2020, 05:50 | Updated: 23 October 2020, 16:01

Millions of people face tougher restrictions from today. London, pictured, is in Tier 2
Millions of people face tougher restrictions from today. London, pictured, is in Tier 2. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Tougher coronavirus rules are coming into force for millions of people in England and Wales on Friday.

Greater Manchester joins Lancashire and the Liverpool City Region under Tier 3, the most stringent coronavirus restrictions in England.

The population of 2.8 million people enters Tier 3 from midnight, with the region's pubs and bars will be closed for 28 days unless they are serving "substantial meals".

Casinos, bingo halls and bookies will also be closed.

Households are banned from mixing outdoors in private gardens or in hospitality venues and people are advised against travelling into or out of the area.

From 6pm today the 3.1 million people in Wales will go into a 17-day "firebreak" lockdown.

It was earlier announced that Warrington is to become the latest area of England to be put into the highest Tier 3 of coronavirus restrictions with council leaders saying they had agreed a funding deal.

A deal has been struck between the council and the government, but it's not clear yet when the new rules will be enforced

And Nottingham is braced to enter Tier 3 lockdown restrictions following a “dramatic” rise in coronavirus hospital patients.

Talks between civic leaders for the Midlands city and Westminster are continuing on Friday over moving the hotspot to the “very high” tier, with the city council requesting the move.

Nicola Sturgeon has also unveiled Scotland's five tier coronavirus restriction system and ruled out seeing a lockdown as draconian as the one brought in in March.

The Scottish First Minister laid out the latest measures which had been anticipated since a similar three-tiered system was introduced in England by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

If approved at Holyrood next week, they will come into force in Scotland on Monday November 2.

On Saturday at midnight, South Yorkshire will also move into tier three restrictions - bringing the total number of people living under England's tightest rules to more than seven million.

In addition, Coventry, Stoke and Slough will move into tier two restrictions at midnight on Saturday.

The Level 2 "high" alert level means that households are banned from mixing indoors, the 10pm curfew is in place for pubs and restaurants and people are encouraged to reduce their use of public transport.

In addition, talks between the government and local leaders in Nottingham and Warrington and Yorkshire over introducing tier three restrictions are due to take place on Friday.

In Wales, the "firebreak" lockdown means people are being ordered to stay at home and pubs, restaurants, hotels and non-essential shops will close until 9 November.

Supermarkets have been told to only open the parts of their business that sell essential goods.

And the Scottish government is to set out its own tiered alert system of Covid restrictions, which will come into force from 2 November.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it would have five tiers, with the middle tiers corresponding roughly to England's three, with a lower tier that it "the closest to normality" possible.

On Thursday, Rishi Sunak announced increased financial support for businesses struggling under Tier 2 lockdown, which can be backdated up to August.

On Thursday, 21,242 new cases of coronavirus were reported in the UK, along with 189 deaths among people who had tested positive in the 28 days before they died.