UK MPs voted on Tuesday (Dec.1) to approve Covid-19 regulations that implement three tiers of restrictions in England from Dec. 2 by 291 votes to 78, a majority of 21. Alarmed at the impact on an already severely weakened economy (the Office for Budget Responsibility predicted GDP will contract by 11.3 per cent this year – the largest contraction for 300 years) 56 Tory parliamentarians voted against the new toughened tiered system, which will see over 55 million people in the country placed into the top two strictest tiers.
About 32 million people - covering 57.3% of England - will fall into Tier 2. In tier two, people are not allowed to mix with anyone outside their household or support bubble indoors, although they can socialise in groups of up to six outdoors. But 23.3 million people - 41.5% of the population - are going to be placed in Tier 3, the highest level of restrictions. And in tier three, people must not mix with anyone outside their household or support bubble indoors, or at most outdoor venues. Only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have been designated for Tier 1.
The rebels refused to back what they described as “stupid rules”, The Times reported, saying the government had failed to make the case that the new system would be less damaging than the alternative. The vote passed in part thanks to the opposition abstaining, with only 16 left wing Labour MPs voting against the Government. It was the largest
rebellion UK PM Boris Johnson has faced since he became prime minister. The government will review the status of each region on 16 December. Till then social unrest is expected.