Covid-19: Tiers vote, vulnerable children and Christmas tree boom

MPs are expected to give the go-ahead later to a stricter three-tier system of restrictions in England. Boris Johnson insists it’s needed to keep infections under control, but a sizeable chunk of his own backbenchers are broadly against tighter controls. Labour won’t endorse the new system, but won’t reject it either. Sir Keir Starmer says he has “serious misgivings” and wants his MPs to abstain, but it isn’t “in the national interest” to block it. The SNP will also abstain because the plans only apply to England. The upshot of all that is more than 55 million people are therefore set to enter the two toughest tiers from 00:01 GMT on Wednesday – a reminder of what that means.

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