Suffolk remains in tier 4 as thousands more placed into harsher restrictions

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has welcomed the news of the Oxford vaccine. Picture: PA IMAGES

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has welcomed the news of the Oxford vaccine. Picture: PA IMAGES - Credit: PA

Suffolk is set to remain under tier 4 coronavirus restrictions with thousands of people across the country preparing to face harsher rules.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the results of the most recent tier review, as cases continue to rise across the country.

Swathes of the East Midlands, West Midlands, North East and the North West will now face tier 4 restrictions - meaning that a quarter of all of the population of England will now be in the toughest restrictions. 

Mr Hancock said: "Sharply rising cases and the hospitalisations that follow demonstrate the need to act where the virus is spreading.

"Unfortunately, this new variant is now spreading across most of England and cases are doubling fast.

"It is therefore necessary to apply tier 4 measures to a wider area, including the remaining parts of the South East, as well as large parts of the Midlands, the North West, the North East and the South West."

The rules they will now face include: 

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  • No socialising with anyone outside your household or support bubble in any indoor setting.
  • No socialising with anyone outside your household or support bubble in any outdoor setting.
  • You should avoid travelling outside your local area, except in exceptional circumstances.
  • You should work from home if possible. Where you cannot do so, you can continue to travel to the workplace.
  • Non-essential retail businesses, accommodation providers, indoor leisure and sports facilities, entertainment venues, indoor attractions, personal care facilities and community halls must close.
  • Hospitality venues, such as pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants must close except for takeaway (until 11pm), delivery, drive-through and click and collect services.

It is still not known when the restrictions will be lifted. 

During his speech to Parliament, Mr Hancock, MP for West Suffolk, also praised the announcement that a second vaccine has now been approved for use in the UK.

The Oxford University and AstraZeneca jab, which has been described as a “game changer”, was given the green light by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine – enough to vaccinate 50 million people.

Matt Hancock, health secretary and West Suffolk MP,  said the approval means there is a "route out" of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “I am now, with this approval this morning, highly confident that we can get enough vulnerable people vaccinated by the spring that we can now see the route out of this pandemic."

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