New lockdown rules explained in full and why pubs could still stay closed

England's national lockdown will end on December 2, but coronavirus restrictions will be far from over.

Boris Johnson has announced the three-tiered Covid system, which was introduced in autumn to combat a second wave of infections, will be reinstated next week.

However the measures will be harsher than before in an effort to get the nation through what will likely be a tough winter.

"These tiers will be strengthened compared to the previous tiers in order to prevent a return to growing infections," the Government said on its official website.

"We know that social contact spreads the virus. We need to impose these restrictions and it is right to target the toughest measures only in the areas where the virus is most prevalent or where we are seeing sharper increases in the rate of infection."

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The new Covid Winter Plan, which the Prime Minister set out to MPs on Monday, will expire at the end of March 2021.

It will see each region of the country return to one of three tiers depending on the area's number of cases. The allocation of tiers will be announced this Thursday.

Less than a week later the lockdown will end, with non-essential shops across England able to reopen.

Gyms, hairdressers and other personal care businesses can also reopen in all tiers.

The Government's blanket instruction for people to stay home except to buy groceries, seek medical assistance and exercise will also come to an end on December 2.

In Tier 1 areas, the rule of six will apply to both indoor and outdoor gatherings, allowing people from different households to meet up indoors.

For Tier 2 and 3, no household mixing will be permitted indoors, although a relaxation of these rules over the Christmas period is expected to be announced later this week.

To the excitement of many, the Covid Winter Plan allows pubs to reopen in certain areas, but they will have to stay closed in higher-risk regions.

Pubs and restaurants will be allowed to reopen in Tier 1 but will have to operate in a Covid-secure manner, including not serving alcohol at the bar but only by table service and closing between 11pm and 5am.

Last orders must be taken by 10pm unless the food and drink is being sold for consumption off premises via delivery or click and collect service.

In Tier 2 alcohol can only be served in venues with a "substantial meal", meaning pubs and bars must remain closed unless operating as a restaurant.

In Tier 3 all pubs, restaurants and cafes must remain closed apart from delivery or takeaway services.

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  • Collective worship, weddings and funerals will be allowed within local restrictions.

    Outdoor sporting events in Tier 1 can have up to 4,000 spectators or 50% usual capacity.

    Tier 2 events can have up to 2,000 spectators for outdoor events. All indoor sporting events can have a maximum of 1,000 spectators.

    Regardless of tier, everyone in England should continue to wear a face covering indoors unless they have a medical exemption.

    On Monday Mr Johnson also declared a "six week surge in testing" to allow people to meet others who have likewise tested negative.

    He praised the work of scientists creating vaccines, and confirmed the government has ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford drug.

    But he insisted that Brits must pull together "for one final push" until the vaccine is rolled out.

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