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Boris Johnson ‘tells Tory MPs Covid tier system restrictions could end in weeks’

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England's coronavirus tier system – which many have slammed as nonsensical and unfair – could end in just nine weeks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reportedly told Tory MPs this evening.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the prime minister said in a letter to Conservative MPs on Saturday night that the much maligned Covid tier system could end on February 3, as any continued measures would need to be voted on in Parliament around January 27.

Mr Johnson reportedly wrote: "The Government will again need to secure Parliament’s support before then, in order for the tiered approach to remain in place until the end of March as we believe will be necessary to control the virus through the winter."

In the letter – allegedly seen by The Sunday Telegraph – Mr Johnson said there would be "an opportunity to review all tier allocations at the first review point on Dec 16. At that point we will have a fuller picture of the impact of the national restrictions".

But the PM, who has been widely blasted for his approach to the pandemic, is believed to have stressed that it is his cabinet's hope that restrictions would be extended until the end of March.

It is believed the move comes in a bid to head off a huge political rebellion by as many as 100 of his party's MPs over the current restrictons.

The tier system, which England will be plunged back into when the second national lockdown ends on December 2, sees regions placed under different restrictions depending on the rate of Covid spread there.

Tier 1 is the least restrictions, whilst Tier 3 is currently the heaviest.

However, many regions in England will emerge from the second national lockdown in higher tiers than they entered it, sparking ridicule over the effectiveness of both the tier system and the national lockdown.

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The news comes on the same day that police arrested 155 people for offences including breaching coronavirus regulations, assaulting a police officer and possession of drugs following anti-lockdown protests in central London.

The Metropolitan Police said it used early intervention methods to disperse the illegal gatherings, including intercepting coachloads of demonstrators as they came into the capital.

The force said those who did not turn back and go home were arrested or issued with a fixed penalty notice.

Chief Superintendent Stuart Bell, policing commander for the event, said it was a "challenging day" for officers and thanked them for their work, adding: "On Friday, we made it very clear how we would police this event, warning those looking to attend that they risked facing enforcement action if they attended a gathering in London.

  • Boris Johnson
  • Coronavirus
  • Lockdown

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