Car showrooms the length and breadth of England will be able to reopen once the lockdown ends on December 2.
Delivering the government’s Covid-19 Winter Plan to the House of Commons today (Nov 23) via video link from 10 Downing St, where he is self-isolating, Boris Johnson said shops that had been ordered to shut since November 5 will be allowed to welcome customers through their doors again.
A tougher three-tier system will replace the lockdown since the previous regime didn’t do enough to tackle the virus, say government scientific advisers.
But no matter which tier a region is in, retail will be open and there will be a uniform set of rules for all the tiers.
However, some regions will face tougher restrictions than they had before – even if only temporarily.
Exactly which tier each region is to be placed in will be announced on Thursday, with a review every fortnight and the tiers in place until March.
The Rule of Six will also be reintroduced.
But the importance of working from home will be reinforced for all the regions whichever tier they’re in.
Johnson hailed the scientific breakthroughs of rapid testing – giving a result in 30 minutes – and the vaccine to fight the disease, adding that the vaccine would be dispensed as quickly as possible.
‘This will still be a hard winter. Christmas cannot be normal and there’s a long road to spring,’ he said.
‘But we have turned a corner and the escape route is in sight.’
He said the NHS was preparing a nationwide immunisation programme for next month (Dec) ‘the like of which you have never witnessed’.
Johnson added: ‘We must hold out against the virus until testing and vaccines come to our rescue and reduce the need for restrictions.
‘And everyone can help speed up the arrival of that moment by continuing to follow the rules, getting tested and self-isolating when instructed, remembering “hands, face, space”, and pulling together for one final push to the spring, when we have every reason to hope and believe the achievements of our scientists will finally lift the shadow of this virus.’
Picture: House of Commons/PA