MPs back stricter Covid Tier system - new restrictions will come into force tomorrow
MPs have backed the new system of coronavirus tiers for England as Boris Johnson survived the threat of a significant revolt from Conservative rebels to pass the restrictions.
The support paves the way for 99% of England to enter the toughest Tier 2 and 3 restrictions when the second national lockdown ends on Wednesday (December 2).
The North East is among the areas which will be placed into Tier 3 – the highest alert level and strictest restrictions.
The House of Commons voted by 291 votes to 78 – a Government majority of 213 – for the new restrictions on Tuesday evening (December 1).
With Labour ordering its MPs to abstain, the measures passed despite senior Tories having lined up to criticise the measures.
In an attempt to lessen the scale of the rebellion, the Prime Minister announced a one-off payment of £1,000 for pubs forced to remain closed under the restrictions, though the move was branded “derisory” by the trade.
Pubs in Tier 2 areas – covering 57% of England’s population – can only serve alcohol with a “substantial meal” and are also covered by rules restricting households mixing indoors, severely harming trade.
In Tier 3, pubs and restaurants can only offer takeaway and delivery services.
Mr Johnson acknowledged concerns of a perceived “injustice” in the allocation of tiers but reassured MPs that the Government would look at a more focused approach in the future.
The House of Lords was expected to approve the plans later on Tuesday, December 1.