Boris Johnson announcement: When the PM is expected to announce new restrictions for East Sussex

The Prime Minister is set to impose tougher restrictions for parts of England today (October 12), which could see the possible closure of pubs and restaurants.

Monday, 12th October 2020, 8:13 am
Updated Monday, 12th October 2020, 3:52 pm

Ministers are said to be considering similar strict new measures for swathes of northern England, amid concerns the virus is spreading out of control.

When will Boris Johnson make the announcement?

Boris Johnson is expected to make a formal announcement of new measures in a statement to MPs on Monday 12 October.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Pic: Getty Images

The PM is expected to make a statement to MPs at around 3.30pm, announcing the new system of “local COVID alert levels” in England.

This will come after a COBRA meeting this morning in which the details of the proposed three-tier lockdown system will be finalised.

At around 6 pm, Mr Johnson will host a televised press conference alongside Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, to address the public and answer questions.

“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.

What are the current restrictions in East Sussex?

Social restrictions in West Sussex are currently in line with national guidance, with no specific local measures put in place so far.

That means residents must stick to the rule of six - not mixing in groups of more than six either indoors or outdoors - and pubs and restaurants must close at 10pm. Table service is now obligatory in hospitality businesses and face masks must be worn when moving around the building.

Face masks are still mandatory in shops and on public transport.

What are the current infection rates in East Sussex?

The most up-to-date figures, from Public Health England, only show infection figures up to Friday, October 9. That means reported rates are likely to be higher by now. For the local authorities in East Sussex, for the week of September 30 - October 6, are as follows:

Brighton and Hove: 69 per 100,000 people

Lewes: 36 per 100,000 people

Eastbourne: 35 per 100,000 people

Wealden: 39 per 100,000 people

Hastings: 45 per 100,000 people

Rother: 31 per 100,000 people

The average infection rate in England for the week September 30 - October 6 was 74 per 100,000 people but, again, that is likely to have risen significantly.

What measures could be implemented in a three-tier lockdown?

In an effort to address the rising infection rates, the PM will likely introduce a three-tier system for local lockdowns, which would see different parts of England placed into different categories.

Areas in England are set to be labelled as medium, high or very high risk, depending on their infection rates, which will inform the “appropriate interventions” needed in each area.

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

Those in “high” will have restrictions to be similar to those currently in place in large parts of northern England, including bans on household meetings.

Areas placed into “very high” would include those with significantly higher infection rates and will likely face a full lockdown, which would see pubs, cafes and restaurants forced to close.

Will pubs and restaurants close?

Mr Johnson is expected to order tougher restrictions in swathes of northern England and the Midlands, with the worst affected areas facing the possible closure of pubs and restaurants

Cities including Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle will most likely see hospitality venues forced to shut, as infection rates in these areas continue to soar.

However, a final decision on the time period or extent of the potential closures has not yet been confirmed.