The government is considering replacing the coronavirus-fighting tier system once the current lockdown in England ends, it has emerged.
Brits were plunged into a 2nd lockdown on November 5 and will not be able to mingle with other households or visit restaurants or bars until it ends on December 2.
Prior to the lockdown announcement, the government introduced a tier system that would be used by the Government to manage coronavirus infection rates locally.
Boris Johnson said the country will go back into the tier system once lockdown ends, but changes to the grouping appear to be on the cards, with a Tier 4 looming.
The fourth tier may be considered in areas if infection rates don’t come down under Tier 3 restrictions, it has been reported.
Tier 4 could be the closest to a regional-style lockdown, sparking concerns for businesses in high-risk areas.
Ministers are also reportedly considering carving England up into larger regions before re-introducing tiered restrictions.
This means the entire North East, North West, South West or South East could be treated as just one area.
Matt Hancock, the UK's Health Secretary, has said regions would not necessarily emerge from the current lockdown into the same tier they were in last month.
One source told the Telegraph: "We will return to a regionalised approach after the lockdown, and the Government has not said explicitly at this point that the tiers will be exactly the same.
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"People could enter lower tiers if they obey the lockdown rules and the R rate falls. The Government will set out what the tiered system looks like a week before lockdown ends on December 2."
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