November 23, 2020 4.51 pm This story is over 42 months old

Shops to reopen in new post-lockdown tiers model

See the full restrictions breakdown

Leisure centres, gyms and shops will reopen from December 2, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced, as new tiered restrictions will be introduced when lockdown ends.

In an address before the House of Commons, Mr Johnson confirmed a return to the three-tier system, however, parts of it will tightened.

It is expected that more areas will fall into the higher tiers when they come into effect.

However, details of which tier regions in England will land on won’t be confirmed until Thursday.

Lincolnshire was in the lowest tier (one/medium), and managed to escape moving into tier two (high) just days before the latest national lockdown.

From December 2 people would be able to leave their homes for any reason and meet others in outdoor public spaces, subject to the rule of six.

Pubs in tier three areas will stay shut unless offering takeaway services.

In tier two only those serving meals will be able to open with last orders at 10pm and curfew at 11pm, as businesses will get another hour of trading.

Collective worship and weddings will be allowed to take place.

A ban on outdoor grass-roots sports has also been lifted. Gyms, leisure centres and non-essential shops will reopen in all areas.

A maximum of 4,000 fans are set to be allowed at outdoor events in the lowest-risk areas.

A mass testing pilot carried out in Liverpool will also be expanded nationally for six weeks in tier three areas.

Plans for the festive period should be confirmed later this week, with up to three households allowed to meet.

Mr Johnson praised the nation for “steadfastly observing nationwide restrictions.”

“For the first time since this wretched virus took hold, we can see a route out of the pandemic,” he said.

He praised the “sacrifices of millions of people across the UK”

However, he warned: “The hard truth is we’re not there yet. First we must get through winter without the virus spreading out of control and squandering our hard-won gains at exactly the time when the burden on the NHS is always greatest.”

Mr Johnson said: “I can’t say that Christmas will be normal this year, but in a period of adversity, time spent with loved ones is even more precious for people of all faiths and we all want some kind of Christmas – we need it.

“But what we don’t want is to throw caution to the winds and allow the virus to flare up again, forcing us all back into lockdown in January.

“This virus is not going to grant a Christmas truce. It doesn’t know Christmas and families will need to make a careful judgement about the risks.”

Mr Johnson concluded by praising the latest vaccine developments from Oxford University and AstraZeneca.

“This will be still a hard winter, Christmas cannot be normal and there’s a long road to spring, but we have turned a corner and the escape route is in sight,” said Mr Johnson.

“We must hold out against the virus until testing and vaccines come to our rescue and reduce the need for restrictions and everyone can help speed up the arrival of that moment by continuing to follow the rules.”