Mon, 18 Jan 2021

People walk on Westminster Bridge, in London, Britain, Nov. 27, 2020. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Xinhua)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged MPs to back his "tougher" tiers system for England. More than 55 million people will be under the highest two tiers from 0001 GMT on Wednesday if the new tier system is approved.

LONDON, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Another 13,430 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 1,643,086, according to official figures released Tuesday.

The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 603 to 59,051, the data showed.

The figures came as the House of Commons (lower house of parliament) is set to vote later Tuesday on England's new tiers system designed to replace the month-long national lockdown that ends on Wednesday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged MPs to back his "tougher" tiers system for England.

The National Health Service (NHS) "remains under pressure" despite the progress in tackling the pandemic following the nationwide lockdown, Johnson said Tuesday ahead of the vote.

The prime minister said he recognized that the hospitality sector had "borne a disproportionate share of the burden" due to the restrictions and confirmed an extra 40 million pounds (about 53.6 million U.S. dollars) for some affected pubs.

According to the BBC, even though both Labour and the Scottish National Party plan to abstain from the parliamentary vote, due around 1900 GMT, the new measures are expected to pass.

People walk past a shopping window with Christmas decorations in central London, Britain, on Nov. 30, 2020. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

More than 55 million people will be under the highest two tiers from 0001 GMT on Wednesday if the new tier system is approved.

Amid increasing pressure from Tory MPs, Johnson has said the new three-tier system, which will put 99 percent of England in the toughest Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions, has "a sunset" clause, or expiry date, of Feb. 3, and will be reviewed every fortnight.

Pubs in Tier 2 areas, covering 57 percent of England's population, can only serve alcohol with a "substantial meal" and are also covered by rules restricting households mixing indoors, severely harming trade.

In Tier 3, pubs and restaurants can only offer takeaway and delivery services.

Also on Tuesday, a coronavirus outbreak at Newcastle training ground forces clubs to postpone next Premier League match, originally scheduled for Friday, local media reported.

"It is the first time coronavirus has caused a top-flight match in England to be called off this season," Sky News said.

A week ago Britain recorded 608 deaths and 11,299 new cases. Tuesday's higher number of cases suggests the second wave has not yet tailed off, despite falling infection rates, the Evening Standard newspaper said.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

Protesters take part in an anti-lockdown protest in London, Britain, on Nov. 28, 2020. More than 150 people have been arrested after anti-lockdown demonstrators hurling bottles and charging through ranks of police officers in central London Saturday, local media reported Sunday. (Photo by Ray Tang/Xinhua)■

More St Petersburg (Russia) News

Access More

Sign up for St Petersburg News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!