UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said those who test negative for coronavirus may be ‘released’ from some Tier 3 restrictions.
Speaking in today’s coronavirus briefing, the PM said: “Testing on this scale is untried, but in due course, if it works, where people test negative it may also be possible for families and communities to be released from certain restrictions, even if their home area stays in Tier 3.”
The PM was joined by Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance, who emphasised the importance of mass testing, citing Liverpool as the proof.
Mr Johnson added: “The truth is that at least one in three people with Covid have no symptoms at all and may be spreading the disease without even knowing that they’ve got it.
“The only way to identify them and protect everyone is through mass testing. Liverpool shows what can be achieved.
“In Liverpool, in the space of two and a half weeks, over 240,000 tests have been conducted and together with the effect of national restrictions, this has helped to reduce the number of cases in Liverpool City Region by more than two thirds.
“So having previously been in Tier 3, Liverpool City Region and Warrington will now be in Tier 2.”
He added that it was a ‘success story’, which the government wants to replicate across the country.
This comes after the UK government earlier announced what will happen when the national lockdown ends on 2 December.
Cities across England will be going back into the tier system that was in place prior to the second lockdown, which was brought in at the start of November.
Different parts of the country being placed in one of three possible tiers.
Greater Manchester has been placed back into Tier Three, along with Hull, Newcastle, Birmingham, and Wolverhampton.
While London and Liverpool have escaped the tightest restrictions, with both cities going into Tier Two.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock addressed the House of Commons today (26 November) to explain what each of the tiers will mean.
Confirming that the national restrictions would not be reintroduced, he said it was ‘vital to not undo’ the hard work and sacrifices made up until now.
He told the House that the measures will be reassessed in two weeks.