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London and Liverpool will be placed in Tier 2 under the government’s new coronavirus restrictions, Boris Johnson is expected to announce.
The decision will save the cities from the toughest Tier 3 restrictions, which would see the hospitality industry close across the capital during the festive period.
Manchester, Birmingham Leeds, and Newcastle will be slammed with the "very high" alert, along with Kent, which is the only county in the south-east plunged into Tier 3.
Under Tier 3, hospitality venues will have to close, as well as hotels and other accommodation providers, expect for specific work purposes.
Outdoor sports will be allowed to continue, but unlike the first two tiers, spectators will not be allowed to watch sport in tier 3.
Much of the country has been plunged into Tier 2, including Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Warrington and Cheshire, Yorkshire, York, North Yorkshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, Rutland and Northamptonshire.
Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, including Peterborough, Norfolk, Essex, Thurrock and Southend on Sea, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes, London, East Sussex, Brighton and Hove, Surrey, Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell Forest, Windsor and Maidenhead, West Berkshire, Hampshire (except the Isle of Wight), Portsmouth and Southampton, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip and Sedgemoor, Bath and North East Somerset, Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Swindon, Devon also in Tier 2.
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