Health Secretary Matt Hancock hosts a remote press conference to update the nation on the Covid-19 pandemic, inside 10 Downing Street on 14 December, 2020 in London, England. Mr Hancock is expected to announce changes to tier restrictions across the country.
More areas across the UK are expected to enter into tier 3 restrictions this weekend as parts of the country continue to see a rise in confirmed coronavirus cases. 
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to announce new restrictions this afternoon after ministers met on Wednesday evening to review the tier system. 
While some areas are likely to face more stringent measures, others may see a relaxation of rules, with the possibility of rural areas being decoupled from urban coronavirus hotspots. 
Leaders in some parts of northern England have said their argues meet the criteria to move from tier three to tier 2 after seeing a decline in Covid-19 cases. 
However, NHS leaders have warned against lifting restrictions prematurely and risking another rise. 
As it stands more than 34 billion people, or 61 per cent of Englands population, are currently living under tier three rules.
As Britons across the country wait to find out whether their tier will change, families across the country are being urged to plan smaller Christmas gatherings. 
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he does not want to cancel Christmas, but has called on families to prepare for a smaller, safer holiday period to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Follow the latest updates

  • New tier restrictions to be announced
  • Families urged to plan smaller Christmas gatherings
  • Wales to restrict Christmas mixing to two households

Show latest update
Priti Patel says nothing has changed on how Christmas Covid rules will be enforced
Home Secretary Priti Patel has said that “nothing has changed” with how coronavirus restrictions will be policed over Christmas.
Appearing on BBC Breakfast, Ms Patel was asked if the Prime Minister should have implemented stricter laws rather than the current guidance issued for the holiday period.
We’re not here to criminalise people around Christmas, which is why we have clear guidance around three households over that Christmas period of five days, the home secretary said. 
I look back throughout this year…and look at how the British public have been incredible and the way in which they follow guidance, follow laws as well, but also adopted the practices of social distancing,” she said.
While Ms Patel said the police will continue to enforce against people, individuals, egregious breaches that effectively risk spreading the virusnothing has changed on that and it’s absolutely right that the police continue to do that.”
Chantal Da Silva17 December 2020 08:06
Good morning and welcome to The Independents live blog tracking the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic.
Chantal Da Silva17 December 2020 07:58

You may also like