London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire have moved into the strictest tier of lockdown restrictions after a sharp rise in positive Covid-19 cases in the capital and surrounding areas.
Some 14,000 hospitality businesses in the capital will temporarily close, and under tier 3 rules, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes can only serve takeaways.
The news comes as a disappointment to many hospitality businesses, who were hoping to recoup some of the year’s losses during the Christmas trading period.
Some 34 million people – or 61% of England’s population – are currently living under tier three rules, including large parts of the Midlands, Yorkshire, the North East and the North West.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to make an announcement on Thursday 17th December regarding the latest changes to tiers.