Matt Hancock rules out 'Tier 5' today, but says more areas will go into Tier 4

30 December 2020, 08:47 | Updated: 30 December 2020, 09:42

By Kate Buck

More areas will be going into Tier 4, Matt Hancock has told LBC, but said he will not be introducing measures above that "today".

Asked by LBC's Andrew Castle if there would be an announcement if more areas would go into Tier 4, the Health Secretary said:" "Yes. Because in the short term in the here and now we've got to keep this virus under control, and the strategy all along has been to suppress the virus until the vaccine can make us safe, and the vaccine making us safe bit has just go a whole lot easier.

"But the new variant, especially but not only in London and the South East, is making the suppress the virus part of the strategy harder as well.

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"I know that people understand this, I know that these decisions aren't easy and they have a big disruptive impact on peoples lives, but I know people understand why we have to do it, especially with the vaccine around the corner."

Recent reports have indicated that ministers have been considering a Tier of restrictions above Tier 4 - something Mr Hancock said is not being considered at the present moment.

"I'm not announcing anything above Tier 4 today, and we need to see in Tier 4 areas not just rules, but people taking that responsibility as they did in the first and second national lockdown to keep the rates under control."