Matt Hancock told a Downing Street press conference on December 1 that lockdown measures have helped to bring the virus “back under control.”
The Health Secretary said cases dropped by 30 per cent in England as the country exited lockdown, which he attributed to the month long national restrictions that ended on December 2.
Mr Hancock said: “This is clearly good news. It shows that the national restrictions have been successful.
But there has been a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in London following the end of lockdown, prompting fears the capital be placed under the toughest Tier 3 restrictions.
A strengthened three-tier system has replaced the lockdown measures, with 99% of England falling under Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions, after scientists warned that the previous lower tiers “weren’t slowing the epidemic.”
The regulations subject businesses to Covid-secure guidelines or force them to close but, unlike the last tier-system, non-essential retail, gyms and hairdressers will be open in all tiers.
Only Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly are in Tier 1, but Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News more could join them after a review on December 16.
Read more: what are the rules in each tier?
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