Connect with us

Analysis

How will England’s new regional tier system work?

Published

on


Boris Johnson’s latest revamp of England’s coronavirus measures is the third system of restrictions to be announced in just six weeks, leaving citizens and business leaders scrambling to understand how the rules will work.

Speaking to MPs on Monday, Mr Johnson said that when lockdown ends on December 2, the country would return to a revised three-tiered regional system designed to last until spring.

Officials insisted that the new measures would help the government “manage the virus” while enabling life to return closer to normal for the public.

Why has the regional tier system changed?

Mr Johnson said that while October’s three-tiered system had reduced the coronavirus reinfection rate, it had not been robust enough to bring the pandemic under control, and the government’s scientific advisers had argued for a tougher system.

Susan Hopkins, an infectious diseases adviser at Public Health England, last week said that October’s tier-one local restrictions had “very little effect”.

Minutes from a meeting of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, Sage, earlier this month show that advisers called for “more stringent” tier-three restrictions, with some modelling indicating that tier two was “the minimum intervention required to maintain any degree of control on transmission”.

The prime minister said it would be a mistake to “squander hard-won gains” at a time when the burden on the NHS was already at its greatest. He added that he was determined to bring the R rate — the average number of new cases generated by an infected individual — below 1; it is currently “between 1 and 1.1”.

What are the key differences with the old system?

On the face of it, the revamped tier system looks similar to the earlier version, with shops reopened and a patchwork of restrictions on leisure and hospitality.

However, this time the tiers will be standardised across England, and more parts of the country will be under more restrictive measures. People in all three tiers will be urged to avoid any unnecessary travel.

Some measures have been tightened, particularly under tier three, where museums, cinemas and theatres will now have to close, and pubs, which were able to open in October if they served food, will now have to shut or operate as takeaways.

Some restrictions have been eased. The 10pm pub closure has been dropped, allowing venues in tier one and two to stay open until 11pm — although last orders will be at 10pm.

Another change will be the return of spectators to some sports. Arenas will reopen up at up to 50 per cent capacity in areas under tier one and tier two — although with a maximum of just 4,000 spectators outdoors in tier one, and 2,000 in tier two.

Which areas will be under each tier?

On Thursday, ministers will announce which areas of England will fall under each tier. Only regions with the lowest prevalence of the virus and evidence of a low R number are expected to fall under tier one, suggesting parts of East Anglia, the south-east and south-west.

London could be in tier two because prevalence in the capital is still relatively low at just under 200 cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days.

Most areas that were in tier three before lockdown expect to return to that level, including South Yorkshire, Nottingham, Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

Liverpool city region, where weekly cases have fallen fast to 185.9 per 100,000 people, could be released from the most restrictive measures as it is participating in the government’s mass testing pilot.

What was the reaction to the changes?

The new system prompted anger from the hospitality sector, with David Moore, founder of Pied A Terre — one of London’s oldest Michelin-starred restaurants — warning that the restrictions on indoor dining would “likely cripple an industry”.

Josh Hardie, acting director-general of business lobby group the CBI, warned that the next few weeks would require further financial support for thousands of struggling companies.

“Harsh measures and ongoing closures will continue to risk business failures in many sectors,” he said. “For firms wondering what restrictions they will face, details of regional tiers must be laid out in detail on Thursday and regularly reviewed in the future.”

Backbench Conservative MPs gave a cautious welcome to some of the measures. Steve Baker, an influential libertarian and deputy chair of the Covid Recovery Group, which has opposed lockdown restrictions, welcomed the ending of the 10pm curfew and the reopening of shops but said evidence should be produced for every measure.

Mark Harper, former chief whip, said he would reserve judgment on the new measures until the areas going into each tier had been designated. “I think if you go into tier three you will struggle to spot much of a difference from lockdown,” he said.

  • Up to six people can meet indoors or outdoors.

  • Bars, pubs and restaurants must operate a table service only. Last orders at 10pm; premises must close by 11pm.

  • Retail and personal care businesses such as hairdressers and beauty salons, and indoor leisure facilities, such as gyms, can operate

  • Spectator sports can operate with a maximum of 50 per cent capacity or 4,000 people outdoors, and 1,000 indoors

  • No household mixing indoors, other than support bubbles; up to six people can meet outdoors

  • Pubs and bars must close unless they serve meals. Last orders at 10pm; premises must close by 11pm. 

  • Retail and personal care businesses such as hairdressers and beauty salons, and indoor leisure facilities can operate

  • Spectator sports can operate with a maximum of 50 per cent capacity or 2,000 people outdoors and 1,000 indoors

  • No household mixing indoors or in most outdoor spaces, except for support bubbles; up to six people can meet in some outdoor settings, such as parks or public gardens.

  • All hospitality outlets must close, but can operate delivery, takeaway and drive-through services

  • Retail and personal care businesses such as hairdressers and beauty salons, and indoor leisure facilities can operate

  • Hotels and other accommodation providers (with some exceptions) and entertainment venues must close
    Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe



Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Analysis

Can plant-based milk beat conventional dairy?

Published

on

By


You can enable subtitles (captions) in the video player

Plant-based milk brands are churning up the global dairy business, with a surge in sales, investment, and new products coming to market. The plant derived dairy trade is now worth an estimated $17bn worldwide.

Growing consumer demand has boosted investment. According to data firm Dealroom, venture capital funding across the plant-based dairy and egg sector has skyrocketed, from $64m in 2015 to $1.6bn in 2020.

The world’s biggest food company, Nestle, recently launched its first international plant-based dairy brand, a cow’s milk substitute made from yellow peas. Wonder will come in a variety of flavours, competing with established brands like Oatly oat-based milk. Founded in Sweden in the 1990s, that company is now valued at around $15bn. Demand for alternatives to soya, which once dominated the dairy free market, continues to escalate.

In the west, sales for other plant-based milks, including oat, cashew, coconut, hemp, and other seeds overtook soya back in 2014. Since then, they’ve raced ahead to be worth almost three times as much as soya products, with a combined projected value of more than $5bn in sales by 2022.

Advocates argue that plant-based production emits less greenhouse gas than cattle, making it the way forward to help feed the world and curb global warming. But dairy groups are fighting back with their own sustainability campaigns. And cow’s milk is hard to beat when it comes to naturally occurring nutrients, like protein, vitamins and minerals.

The average 100 millilitre glass of cow’s milk contains three grammes of protein, compared to 2.2 grammes in pea milk and just one gramme in oat-based substitutes.

Dairy producers have also won a legal bid, preventing vegan competitors in the EU from calling their products milk and yoghurt. Despite their growing popularity, plant-based brands are a long way from displacing conventional milk products. Their current $17bn turnover is still a drop in the pail, compared with the traditional cattle-based dairy trade, which is worth an estimated $650bn worldwide.



Source link

Continue Reading

Analysis

'It’s more than sport – every day we are fighting for our rights to be equal’

Published

on

By



French pro basketball player and podcaster Diandra Tchatchouang on her role beyond the court



Source link

Continue Reading

Analysis

Emily Dean on how allyship amplifies the female experience on film

Published

on

By


You can enable subtitles (captions) in the video player

When I was six years old, I decided to be an artist. When I was 12, I decided to be a filmmaker. And instead of saying no, you can’t do that, or it’s not possible, my mum bought me a video camera.

After several years of working in the industry, I’m working with a female director for the first time. And it’s been such a gratifying experience. Women express leadership in different ways. Maybe you don’t have to be the loudest person in the room. But you can have great ideas.

And the best thing about being mentored by women and being a mentor to women is that make friends with women.

There’s something so powerful the women coming alongside other women, especially in a group setting. Because it means that you can and back each other up. You can support each other’s decisions, and you can amplify each other’s voices.

It’s about seeing yourself in your work. Seeing some part of yourself reflected is really gratifying. It’s also important that we speak up for female characters. I want to see girls and women on screen who have the whole cacophony of experience of what it’s like to be female.

I want to see their flaws. I want to feel their struggles. I want to see their joy. That is so important to making a character feel real. And it took me a little while to settle into myself and realise, if the characters I like to come up with are not your everyday run of the mill characters you see in animation, that’s fine. Because this is who I am.

When you walk into a story room, when you’re working on a film, you have to leave your ego at the door. I think that can be interpreted like keep your ego out of the work. But I’d also say for women who are maybe more shy that leaving your ego at the door means you walk in. And your job is to focus on what’s best for the story and for the film.

The story needs you. The film needs you, and it needs your best ideas. It won’t thrive unless you speak up.



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending