Great Britain

Towns and villages could be ‘decoupled’ from nearby coronavirus hotspots

The government is reportedly considering plans to allow towns and villages to be “decoupled” from nearby coronavirus hotspots.

Rural areas with low levels of Covid-19 infections could be removed from the tier 2 and 3 restrictions they were placed under because of their proximity to cities with high numbers of cases, The Daily Telegraph reports.

The tier system of restrictions is expected to remain in place for several months in an attempt to drive down the rate at which the virus is spreading throughout England.

On 2 December, 99 per cent of the country will be placed under the top two tiers of restrictions as England emerges from its second national lockdown.

Only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will be placed under the lightest tier 1 restrictions.

Large swathes of the Midlands, North East and North West are in the most restrictive tier 3, accounting for 41.5 per cent of the population, or 23.3 million people.

The majority of authorities — including London — will be in tier 2, which will cover 57.3 per cent of the country, or 32 million people.

The tier system is set to be reviewed for the first time on 16 December, with the prime minister telling a Downing Street briefing the allocation of tiers will be reviewed every 14 days from that date.

Boris Johnson suggested mass testing could make households exempt from restrictions.

He said: "Now testing on this scale is untried, but in due course, if it works, where people test negative it may also be possible for families and communities to be released from certain restrictions even if their home area stays in tier 3."

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