According to reports on Friday, the government could abandon the tiered system and bring England out of lockdown in a nationwide approach.
This week Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the road map for the third lockdown in England will be released the week of February 22nd.
It will start reopening schools as early as March 8th – and there are reports that there could be three phases of stores opening a month later, followed by pubs that don’t open until May.
Before England implemented a third lockdown in early January, the country was on a four-tier system – Tier 4 being the highest and Tier 1 being the lowest.
Tier 4 had most of the closings and restrictions on travel and collecting, while when the lock began, only the Isles of Scilly remained in Tier 1 – with much fewer restrictions.
But now the Daily Mail claims, a source said, if we exit that lockdown, the Tier system could be scrapped.
Levels are still an option, but officials are “considering” whether to unlock the country on a national basis, a source told the Daily Mail.
Contacted by the mirrorA government source vehemently denied the Daily Mail’s story, saying no decisions had been made.
However, they added that they weren’t ruling things out.
When asked on Wednesday whether the roadmap “would look at how we lift each area out of its plane,” the Prime Minister replied that it was “a broader roadmap for a way forward for the whole country”.
Government scientists have also said that the tier system in England – where large areas were essentially closed but pubs in the Isles of Scilly could be opened – was insufficient to accommodate the new “Kent” variant of Covid.
Community Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Wednesday, “I think the evidence might show that the tiered system and restrictions put in place towards the end of 2020 brought Covid as we knew it under control.
“But unfortunately the new variant came and that was unfortunate in a way, but we reacted to it with stricter restrictions.”
A government insider told the Daily Mail: “We believe the tier system was effective for the situation we faced last year, but we may face different circumstances this spring.
“Levels are still an option, but we are also looking into whether it would be better to end the lockdown on a national basis.
“It will depend to some extent on the geographic spread of the pandemic in a few weeks time when we can see if it still makes sense to try to do things on a regional basis.”