This is when Boris Johnson will chair an emergency Cobra meeting today

By Alex Nelson
Monday, 12th October 2020, 8:10 am
Updated Monday, 12th October 2020, 9:14 am
Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the nation during a remote press conference at Downing Street on 30 September 2020 (Photo: Jack Hill - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the nation during a remote press conference at Downing Street on 30 September 2020 (Photo: Jack Hill - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce tighter lockdown restrictions across vast areas of England today (Monday 12 October).

The instruction for more coronavirus battling measures is predicted to be issued alongside the reveal of the Government’s long proposed three tier system.

This would see regions of the country designated either a “medium”, “high” or “very high” status depending on their number of Covid-19 cases.

“This is a critical juncture and it is absolutely vital that everyone follows the clear guidance we have set out to help contain the virus,” Downing Street said.

Here is everything you need to know.

When will the next Cobra meeting take place?

It's likely to be a packed schedule for the Prime Minister today as he gears up for the latest announcement.

Johnson will chair an emergency Cobra (Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms) meeting this morning designed to “determine the final interventions", before revealing plans with a statement to Parliament in the Commons.

What time will the PM speak?

It is expected that details will first be made public with this statement, expected at around 3.30pm.

A more public announcement will then come at 6pm, when the PM will hold a Downing Street press conference.

He is expected to be flanked by Chancellor Rishi Sunak and England's Chief Medical Officer, Prof Chris Whitty.

How will the three tier system work?

Millions of people across the country could be banned from mixing indoors and outdoors and thousands of pubs forced to close in a bid to keep the virus under control.

Under the proposed three tier system, different parts of the country would be placed in different categories, with areas in the highest level expected to face the toughest restrictions.

Areas that fall into “medium” are likely to continue to follow national restrictions, such as the “rule of six” and social distancing.

Documents leaked to the media earlier this month suggested tier three would include no social contact outside your own household in any setting and restrictions on overnight stays away from home.

Bars and restaurants in tier three areas are expected to be forced to close. The Government has already paved the way for tough new restrictions by saying workers in pubs, restaurants and other businesses which are forced to close will have two thirds of their wages paid by Whitehall.

No organised non-professional sports or other communal hobby groups or activities would be permitted, the document also said.

Which areas could be affected?

The exact details of each tier, including the level of infection at which an area would qualify for it and the nature of the restrictions, are not thought to have been confirmed at the time of writing, but are expected to be announced by the Prime Minister later.

The Liverpool City Region - which includes the local authority districts of Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral, as well as Liverpool - is one area that is expected to be put into tier three.

Pubs, bars, gyms, casinos, and bookmakers are expected to close while restaurants, schools and universities would remain open, according to national reports.

The city recorded 600 cases per 100,000 people in the week ending 6 October. The average for England was 74.

Leaders across the north of England have criticised the plans, accusing the Government of treating the region as “second-class” and did not rule out possible legal action.

How can I watch the announcement?

Boris Johnson’s latest virtual Downing Street press conference is expected to commence at 6pm.

It will be available to watch live on BBC News and Sky News.

A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, the Yorkshire Evening Post