20m more people in England under toughest Tier 4 rules as deaths soar – BBC News

another 20 million people in england will be placed under tier iv restrictions and asked to stay at home from midnight tonight the health secretary matt hancock said the move was absolutely necessary because a new variant of coronavirus was fuelling a surge in cases areas entering tier 4 include birmingham nottingham leicester the northeast and greater manchester three-quarters of the english population will be under the toughest measures from tomorrow dozens of areas will also now enter tier three including liverpool shropshire devon and cornwall so no part of the country will be in tier two that leaves the silly isles which stay in tier one our health correspondent dominic hughes reports in birmingham just time for a last trim before tier four restrictions come in at midnight after a tough year it's another bitter setback for owner dale sampi absolutely devastated again that we've just got going after reopening on the 2nd of december we're just getting back on our feet again how many more times can we be locked down and you know the bills keep rolling and it's you know it's really difficult to keep coming back in england more than three quarters of the population will be in tier iv the highest level of restrictions health secretary matt hancock told mps the new more contagious covid variant was driving infections up unfortunately this new variant is now spreading across most of england and cases are doubling fast it is therefore necessary to apply tier four measures to a wider area including the remaining parts of the southeast as well as large parts of the midlands the north west the northeast and the southwest this is a global crisis but let us be clear this is a national emergency our national health service is becoming overwhelmed i hope the tier 4 restrictions are enough but many believe even tougher restrictions are now inevitable but public health experts warn that restrictions and lockdowns can only do so much the effect of any escalation in tears lasts for maybe three weeks four weeks and then wears off so it is doubly important that regardless of which tears we go in we continue to come forward for vaccines and take the test and more importantly maintain that social distancing and hand washing and to meet rules rising case numbers are hitting the health service already buckling under pressure in the south and east infections are now growing in the north and west burnley has already been hit hard by the pandemic this year but has again seen a rapid growth in cases and it's not just businesses that will be affected by the new restrictions the local hospice depends on the 650 000 pounds raised each year by its charity shops it has been a huge hit for us this year we've been full throughout the whole of the pandemic our hospice at home services are also caring for more patients in the community to then close our shops is a real sort of kick to us parts of england that have seen relatively low case numbers in recent months like taunton and somerset now find themselves in tier four it's clear we're heading into the new year in the middle of a second wave that has yet to show any signs of subsiding it's a place no one wanted to be dominic hughes bbc news

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