Despite the Government having recently announced the return of the tier system, which was introduced before the second national lockdown and which saw different parts of the country placed into different tiers, the Prime Minister said yesterday (1 February) that a blanket approach the country was now more likely.
“It may be that a national approach, going down the tiers in a national way, might be better this time round, given that the disease is behaving much more nationally,” he said.
“If you look at the way the new variant has taken off across the country, it’s a pretty national phenomenon.
“The charts I see, we’re all sort of moving pretty much in the same sort of way, I mean there are a few discrepancies, a few differences, so it may be that we will go for a national approach but there may be an advantage still in some regional differentiation as well.”
The original tier system came under criticism for causing confusion among people and for luring them into a false sense of security about the virus. At the announcement of the tier system, for example, the Isle of Wight was placed in the lowest tier but the area was subsequently moved to the highest tier after a huge spike in cases of the virus.
Yesterday the Isle of Man emerged from its lockdown, with pubs and restaurants able to reopen after the self-governing island reported having no unexplained cases of the virus in the past 20 days.
The Government is scheduled to make an official announcement on its exit strategy on 22 February.