AVRUPA TIMES/LONDON-Hancock begins statement. Health Secretary Matt Hancock begins his statement in the House of Commons...Just two areas move down a tier. Hancock says two areas are now able to move down a tier as a result of falling infection rates.He confirms that from 00:01 Saturday 19 December Bristol and North Somerset will move into tier two. Meanwhile, Herefordshire will move from tier two to tier one.More English areas go into tier threeHancock says that in the UK, and across the world, coronavirus cases are rising once more.
"No one wants tougher restrictions any longer than neccesary," he says, adding that where they are neccessary they will be put in place to help ease pressure on the National Health Service.
He says cases are up 46% in the past week in the south-east of England and up by two-thirds in the east of England.
He confirms that from 00:01 Saturday 19 December - the following areas will be placed into tier three:
The whole of Hertfordshire
Surrey, except Waverley
Hastings and Rother
Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant
Hancock: We must not blow it now
Matt Hancock says there are 18,038 people in hospital with coronavirus across the UK and that the colder, winter months are always the most difficult for people's health.
"We've come so far, we mustn't blow it now," he adds.