ALL shops will remain open when lockdown ends in just 10 days time – even if they're in the strictest tiers of Boris Johnson's new tough shutdown plan.
The Prime Minister will address the nation from his self-isolation at Downing Street tomorrow to reveal that England's month-long lockdown will end, as promised, on December 2.
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And he'll release more information on plans for strict new measures to keep the virus under control – described to this paper as "tiers on steroids" by a source.
More areas could shift into the strictest Tier 3 rules under the proposals, with regions affected set to be decided at a meeting on Thursday.
But despite that, there's good news for businesses – as the PM will say all shops can now remain open, the Mail on Sunday reports.
Non-essential businesses were forced to close their doors yet again under the new measures.
The news will give a welcome boost to traders who have so far lost out on the usual Christmas rush.
Beauty salons, gyms and hairdressers are also expected to open for a "morale boost".
However, in areas with the highest infection rates, bookmakers and so-called 'wet pubs' that do not serve food may be required to remain closed.
Hull continues to have the highest rates of coronavirus in England, with 1,817 new cases recorded in the seven days to November 16 – the equivalent of 699.4 cases per 100,000 people.
This is down from 754.5 in the seven days to November 9.
Swale in Kent has the second highest rate, up sharply from 316.5 to 654.3, with 982 new cases.
There may also be harsher controls on households mixing indoors – and it's claimed Brits could be forced to keep away from families and friends until Easter.
During the address, Mr Johnson will also give further details about what Brits can expect for their festive celebrations after months of speculation.
It's reported that there'll be a four-nation 'truce', which will see all families across the UK allowed the same number of days to celebrate with loved ones.
Scientists last week warned that up to five days of tough lockdown could be needed to compensate for each day with fewer restrictions – meaning there could be up to 25 days of tighter rules.
But Mr Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have emphasised the need to return to a "functioning economy".
In brighter news, the much-criticised 10pm curfew will be binned, it's reported.
The PM intends to extend opening hours until 11pm – and while last orders will still be called at 10pm, punters will get another hour to finish drinks and meals.
Government officials are said to have a sense of renewed optimism over the success of vaccines, with one source claiming Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has a "spring in his step".
No 10 is adamant recent positive news could mean restrictions are gradually wound down towards spring 2021.
Brits could also be given special 'freedom passes' to allow them to live a relatively normal life – if they have two negative Covid tests a week.
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