Chancellor Rishi Sunak has warned that “Christmas is not going to be normal” despite England preparing to move out of lockdown and into a strengthened three-tier system of local coronavirus restrictions next mont
Boris Johnson will detail his “winter Covid plan” on Monday, setting out the restrictions to replace the national lockdown on December 2 and how people can spend the festive period.
Downing Street said more areas are expected to enter higher tiers next month and those tiers will be strengthened to safeguard the gains made during the four-week lockdown, but it is understood that the 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants will be altered.
Mr Sunak said the localised tiered system is a “far better way” to tackle Covid-19 as he confirmed the Prime Minister’s plans, which were expected to be approved by the Cabinet on Sunday.
The Prime Minister is understood to be preparing to unveil a plan so that while last orders must be called at 10pm, people will get an extra hour to finish their food and drinks, with opening hours to be extended until 11pm.
Mr Johnson will announce the full plans for winter in the House of Commons on Monday.
But he runs the risk of a rebellion from backbench Conservative MPs when they vote on the restrictions in the days before they are scheduled to come into force on December 2.
On Saturday the coronavirus recovery group (CRG) of Tories resisting new curbs warned that they “cannot support” a tiered approach unless the Government produces a cost-benefit analysis showing they “will save more lives than they cost”.