By Rachael Grealish
The Prime Minister has said he is ‘bitterly’ regretful over three quarters of England being under Tier 4 from tomorrow, December 31.
During a press conference at Downing Street today, Wednesday December 30, Boris Johnson said: “No-one regrets these measures more bitterly than I do, but we must take firm action now, and that’s why we must think very hard about schools.
“Keeping children in education is a national priority and schools are safe, but we must face reality about the pace of the spread of the new variant.”
This comes after the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, announcing several areas of the country would be escalated to Tier 4 from midnight on New Year’s Eve – with Cumbria jumping from Tier 2 to the highest tier.
The PM did share some hope as with the approval of Oxford University/AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine he said as many vulnerable people as possible would be receiving their first vaccine dose as soon as possible.
He also reiterated the Education Secretary’s statement about secondary schools in Tier 4 areas not starting back until January 11 for exam years and January 18 for other years.
Johnson did leave his options open for further action on schools in the most affected areas and says all secondary school students will be tested upon their return and regularly thereafter.
The PM finished his speech imploring the public to only celebrate the New Year in their own households for safety.
He said: “Let’s follow the rules, protect the NHS and together, make 2021 the year we leave this tunnel behind us.”
The full list of Tier 4 restrictions an be found HERE.