Three-tier lockdown in England could last until ‘after Christmas’

Watch: Three-tier lockdown to last until ‘after Christmas’

England’s incoming three-tier lockdown could last until after Christmas, a government minister has said.

Prime minister Boris Johnson is set to announce the new coronavirus restrictions for England on Monday.

He will give a speech to MPs in the House of Commons later this afternoon before addressing the nation about the changes this evening, amid questions over whether the plan can drive down infections.

On Monday, culture secretary Oliver Dowden warned the new restrictions may be needed until into the new year.

“If those measures are successful we hope to be able to take areas out of those high levels of restrictions,” he told Sky News.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden says the new three-tier lockdown system could remain in place until into 2021. (Sky News)
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden says the new three-tier lockdown system could remain in place until into 2021. (Sky News)

“The purpose of doing this is to ensure we get the virus under control so by the

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Firms face ‘cliff edge’ with lay-offs after Christmas

Commuters as business leaders sound the alarm over jobs. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images
Commuters as business leaders sound the alarm over jobs. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

Business groups have warned UK employers face a “cliff edge” as government support is cut back this winter, risking a fresh wave of job losses after Christmas.

Three leading business figures sounded the alarm over chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new job support scheme on Tuesday, with fears employers will still not be able to prevent lay-offs.

Sunak has resisted pressure to extend the job protection scheme, which saw millions of staff furloughed across the economy when the coronavirus and lockdown first hit. Last month he instead announced a new wage subsidy scheme from November, on top of a ‘job retention bonus’ for firms keeping furloughed staff.

Employers’ contributions are significantly higher under the new initiative, with organisations expected to pay more than half workers’ typical wages for only a third of their hours.

Watch: What are

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