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Shops and bars face closure as Boris confirms new ‘traffic light’ system

Shops and bars face closure as Boris confirms new ‘traffic light’ system

Watch: Boris Johnson announces a new ‘traffic light’ COVID-19 alert system

Pubs and bars in Liverpool face closure from Wednesday, after UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced tougher new restrictions to tackle the the COVID-19 second wave.

Johnson on Monday confirmed a new three tier “traffic light” system of local restrictions. Speaking in parliament on Monday afternoon, Johnson said the new alert levels would “simplify and standardise” the existing patchwork of local lockdown rules.

Each level — “medium,” “high,” and “very high” — involves escalating restrictions. Most areas in England will automatically move to the “medium” alert level, the prime minister said. This involves restricting people to socialising in groups of no more than six and a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants.

Under the “very high” alert level, pubs and bars will be ordered shut. Local leaders will also have discretionary powers to order other non-essential businesses to close.

The prime minister confirmed Merseyside would be placed in the “very high” alert level from Wednesday. Pubs, bars, gyms, leisure centres, casinos, and betting shops will be among the businesses told to shut.

Prime minister Boris Johnson making a statement in the House of Commons in London, setting out a new three-tier system of controls for coronavirus in England. Photo: PA

Over 1,400 businesses in Liverpool will be hit by the changes, according to analysis of official government data by the real estate adviser Altus Group.

Johnson said he took “no pleasure whatsoever” announcing further restrictions on businesses but said the measures were necessary “to save lives.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: UK hospitality industry to take legal action against lockdown rules

The new “traffic light” system of restrictions, as they have been dubbed, come in response to a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in the UK. New cases have risen

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