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What time is Boris Johnson’s lockdown announcement, and what will he say?

Boris Johnson will announce a ‘Covid winter plan‘ to the House of Commons today, including an update on how families can see their loved ones, and a return to tiered, local coronavirusrestrictions.

Watch Boris Johnson address the House of Commons live here at 3:30pm

It has been announced that families will be able to enjoy Christmas together across the whole of the UK after ministers agreed a plan that will allow up to four households to mix for five days between Christmas Eve and December 28.

Tough limits on household mixing will be scrapped for the festive break before the country returns to a Tier system which will replace the current lockdown from December 3.

After December 2 more areas are likely to be placed in higher tiers, and some tiers will be strengthened to safeguard the gains made during the current national lockdown.

This week’s announcement will include an “end of lockdown package”, expected to include a vaccination schedule and mass testing.

The Cabinet were signing off the plans on Sunday and will decide which areas are in which tiers before Thursday 26 November. MP’s will vote on the proposals before they come into force.

The government is optimistic that restrictions can be gradually reduced in the run-up to spring, provided vaccines are approved by regulators.

Read more: How each lockdown tier will change under revamped Covid restrictions​

Cumulative confirmed Covid-19 cases

When is the current lockdown due to end?

The second lockdown will end on Dec 2, replaced with a three-tier system similar to the one in place before the second wave.

What time is Boris Johnson’s announcement today?

Mr Johnson will address the House of Commons today, Monday, November 23 at 3.30pm, followed by a press briefing at 7pm from Downing Street.

The PM is expected to announce which areas will fall under which tiers on Thursday, November 26.

What is he expected to say?

The Prime Minister is expected to address five topics.

1. Lockdown

​He will likely confirm lockdown is ending on Dec 2.

2. Tiers

On Dec 3, a tougher three-tier system of local restrictions will be introduced, though the controversial 10pm pub curfew is expected to be extended by an hour.

Gyms and leisure centres will be allowed to open, and Mr Johnson faces pressure in the Commons to permit golf and children’s sports.

Running the rule – What’s changing and what’s not

All businesses and venues not currently shut can stay open

All businesses and venues not currently shut expected to stay open

Pubs and restaurants allowed to reopen, including those which don’t serve meals. Table service only

Pubs and restaurants are allowed to reopen but only if they serve substantial meals. Restricted to own household and table service only.

Previously ‘wet’ pubs were also allowed to open

Pubs and restaurants will be required to operate takeaway only.

Previously were allowed to open if they provided substantial meals

Curfew to be extended, with last orders called at 10pm. Previously all customers had to leave by 10pm

Curfew to be extended, with last orders called at 10pm. Previously all customers had to leave by 10pm

Rule of six is expected to apply

Household bubbles only allowed indoors, but rule of six expected to continue outdoors

Household mixing banned indoors, with rule of six expected to continue in some public outdoor spaces

Places of worship to reopen, with groups required to comply with rule of six

Places of worship to reopen, with people required to remain in their own household bubbles

Places of worship to reopen, with people required to remain in their own household bubbles

Schools and universities to remain open

Schools and universities to remain open

Schools and universities to remain open

Gyms to reopen, with outdoor and grassroots and children’s team sports back on

Gyms to reopen, with outdoor and grassroots and children’s team sports back on

Gyms to reopen, with outdoor and grassroots and children’s team sports back on

Cinemas to reopen

Cinemas to reopen

Cinemas will remain closed. Cinemas were previously allowed to open

Non-essential retail to reopen

Non-essential retail to reopen

Non-essential retail to reopen

He will not announce which areas are in which tiers until Thursday, when the Government has access to the latest information on the virus’s reproductive rate, its prevalence and incidence in the population, and whether infections are increasing or declining.

His proposals are already under threat from 70 Conservative MPs who have threatened to veto tougher restrictions in Parliament.

Read more: the three tier system

3. Christmas

The leaders of all four home nations have agreed a plan to allow up to four households to mix between December 24 to 28.

Families must decide on their extended bubbles in advance and will not be able to mix with anyone from outside that bubble during the festive break.

Tough limits on household mixing will be scrapped for the festive break before the country returns to a Tier system .

No final decision has been made on how many households will be able to get together, but sources have indicated it will be either three or four households, meaning families will be able to have both sets of grandparents to stay.

Other restrictions, including pub closures, are also expected to be relaxed over the five-day holiday.

In a statement, the Cabinet Office said the leaders of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland had “endorsed a shared objective of facilitating some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days”.

However, they also “emphasised that the public will be advised to remain cautious, and that wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact”.

Northern Ireland is discussing a cross-border agreement with Ireland, which means the same rules are likely to apply in every part of the British Isles.

The four-nation approach, which must be approved by Parliament and each of the devolved administrations, will mean families who have relatives in another of the home nations, who have at times been prevented from visiting them because of different rules either side of the border, can now confidently plan Christmas together.

The Cabinet Office said, “Work is continuing to finalise the arrangements, including relating to travel. The UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive hope to conclude this work this week, subject to agreement by each administration.”

Final details of the arrangements for Christmas are expected to be announced later this week.

Read more: What the new Covid tier system means for pubs, shops, and church services

4. Testing 

On Saturday, the Telegraph revealed that everywhere from factories and offices to towns and cities will be blitzed with mass testing if cases start to rise, something the Prime Minister is expected to address.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the mass testing pilot scheme used in Liverpool will be extended to 67 more towns and cities.

Tests will cover 10 per cent of each local authority’s population on a weekly basis.

Areas which will receive the new tests include Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and the West Midlands, other parts of the North West and the whole of the North East.

Freedom passes” may also be addressed by the Prime Minister. These are passes expected to be given to people next year that allow them to forgo certain restrictions provided they have two negative coronavirus tests a week.

5. Vaccines

No 10 said on Saturday that provided vaccineswere approved by regulators, the first injections can be made next month before being rolled out more widely in the new year.

NHS draft plans suggest every adult in England could be vaccinated by April, starting with NHS workers and the elderly before Christmas.

— the telegraph