This is not how we want to live our lives – but this is the narrow path we have to tread between full lockdown and an uncontained epidemic: that was the prime minister’s message today as he outlined the new three-tier system of coronavirus restrictions for England – due to come into force on Wednesday, after he briefed local leaders. The situation is stark indeed.
Three Nightingale hospitals are on standby. The number of Covid patients is already at the level it was back in mid-March when the national lockdown was imposed. While cases across the UK are still rising fast.
Here is a look what England’s new three-tier system looks like.