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Coronavirus: More England regions to enter strictest lockdown rules on Saturday


The government has announced that more regions in the east and south-east of England will enter tier 3 of lockdown rules on Saturday.

Health secretary Matt Hancock told MPs Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Hertfordshire will all be subject to the strictest rules, as will be parts of Surrey, East Sussex, Cambridgeshire and Hampshire.

In a review of the current restrictions, Bristol and North Somerset will be moved to tier 2 from tier 3, and Herefordshire to tier 1 from tier 2.

Parts of the country already in tier 3 will remain there, sparking controversy among officials in Manchester and other areas that have been in this situation for weeks.

Under the new measures, 68% of the population in England, or 38mln people, will be in tier 3 areas.

Around a third of residents will be in tier 2 while only 2% will be in tier 1.

“No-one wants tougher restrictions any longer than necessary,” Hancock said, although he added that the country “must keep suppressing this virus”.

Other countries in Europe have enforced tough measures ahead of Christmas, with the Netherlands and Germany entering full lockdowns.

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