Holidays are now firmly off for almost the entirety of Britain as tough new lockdown restrictions come into force.
From today, more than three-quarters of the population will be living under the highest Tier 4 restrictions after Matt Hancock cited rising Covid cases for imposing new measures on another 20 million people.
This puts the whole of England, with the sole exception of the Isles of Scilly, into either Tier 3 or 4. Scotland, Wales and Ireland are currently all under national lockdown.
Under Tier 4, all hotels and hospitality venues must close, as well as non-essential shops and gyms. Restaurants, pubs and bars can only serve takeaway. The rules also instruct people to stay at home, with permission to leave only if there is a “reasonable excuse”. They cannot go abroad, either, apart from “limited exceptions” such as work.
There are more than 13,000 hotels across the UK, all of which will have to close yet again, leaving an already reeling travel industry and countless small businesses in dire straits as we move into 2021.
Speaking on Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would move “heaven and earth” to roll out the newly-approved Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine so that restrictions can “recede into the past” by spring.
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