‘Any routes to the Isles of Scilly?’: Twitter users find the funny side as Midlands, North and South West join London and South East in Covid Tier 4 lockdown and ‘Happy New Tier’ starts trending on social media
- Matt Hancock unveils review with 75% of England due in top curbs by New Year
- There are hopes AstraZeneca vaccine approval will end the crisis by the Spring
- The UK has ordered 100 million doses with the first jabs starting on Monday
Twitter users have found the funny side with large areas of the Midlands, North and South West set to join London and the South East in Tier 4.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the new last review of coronavirus rules in the Commons today, meaning more than three-quarters of England will be under the harshest restrictions from tomorrow.
All remaining areas – barring just 2,000 people on the Isles of Scilly – are being escalated to Tier 3, including Liverpool, previously seen as an example of how to cope with the disease.
It comes as a crushing blow to many who will have been making plans to celebrate the end of 2020 and the start of 2021, with the phrase ‘Happy New Tier’ trending on the social media site.
Others joked that they were looking to move to the Isles of Scilly, which has a tiny population and remains in Tier 1, which allows socialising inside homes and pubs.
Twitter users have found the funny side with large areas of the Midlands, North and South West set to join London and the South East in Tier 4
One user suggested Health Secretary Matt Hancock should have announced the news slightly differently
The phrase ‘happy new tier’ was trending on the social media site this afternoon as hundreds cracked jokes
One user painted a picture of what is likely to be a solemn New Year’s Eve across England
One user suggested the attempt was futile while schools and colleges are allowed to open
Others were quick to remember the reaction of others when London was placed in Tier 4
One user joked: ‘Is tier 4 the one where we all get DIY haircuts again, only I’m starting to lose the plot with it all now?’
‘Welcome to our world northerners’ was a sentiment shared by many earlier this afternoon
Making clear that hopes for a return to normality now hang on massively scaling up the vaccine rollout, Mr Hancock claimed regulatory approval for the Oxford/University AstraZeneca jab means the crisis can be ‘over’ by Spring.
However, if the government manages to crank up vaccinations to two million doses a week, it will still take months to cover enough of the population to ease restrictions safely.
Pointing to rapidly increasing infections thought to be driven by the mutant Covid, Mr Hancock told the Commons: ‘Sharply rising cases and the hospitalisations that follow demonstrate the need to act where the virus is spreading.’
He said the majority of new cases recorded yesterday ‘are believed to be the new variant’.
Mr Hancock added: ‘Unfortunately, this new variant is now spreading across most of England and cases are doubling fast.
‘It is therefore necessary to apply Tier 4 measures to a wider area, including the remaining parts of the South East, as well as large parts of the Midlands, the North West, the North East and the South West.’
Others joked that they were looking to move to the Isles of Scilly, which has a tiny population and remains in Tier 1, which allows socialising inside homes and pubs
One said: ‘Those 4 people who live on the Isle of Scilly are going to have a banging New Year’s Eve aren’t they?’
Another added: ‘To be living on the Isle of Scilly right now, they’re laughing at the rest of us in the UK for sure’
Delivering more bad news, Mr Hancock said almost all the country will be under the top two brackets.
‘Even in most areas not moving into Tier 4, cases are rising too, and it is therefore necessary to apply Tier 3 measures more broadly too – including in Liverpool and North Yorkshire,’ he said.
‘The rest of Yorkshire remains in Tier 3. These changes will take effect from 00:01 tomorrow morning.
‘The new variant means that three quarters of the population are now going to be in Tier 4 and almost all of the country in Tiers 3 and 4.
‘And I know that Tier 3 and 4 measures place a significant burden on people, and especially on businesses affected, but I am afraid it is absolutely necessary because of the number of cases that we’ve seen.’
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