TIER restrictions will be reviewed every two weeks by Government – starting on December 16.

Speaking at a press briefing this evening, November 26, Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed his new three-tier system that will come into effect next Wednesday.

Cheshire East and West will sit in Tier 2 following the end of the national lockdown, but Mr Johnson says this could change depending on how the situation looks down the line, telling the public ‘your tier is not your destiny’.

He said: “If we ease off now we risk losing control over this virus all over again, casting aside our hard-won gains and forcing us back into a new year national lockdown with all the damage that would mean.

“I know this will bring a great deal of heartache and frustration especially for our vital hospitality sector.

“I really wish it were otherwise but if we are going to keep schools open, as we must, then our options in bearing down on the disease are necessarily limited.

“There is no doubt that the restrictions in all tiers are tough and I am sorry about that.”

Discussing the chances of moving down tiers, Prof Chris Whitty said it is possible areas like Cheshire could move down to Tier 1, but that 'we should not do that until we are confident'.

England’s chief medical officer also spoke of the importance of taking care during the five-day Christmas break from restrictions – which he accepted would 'increase the risk' of spreading Covid.

He said: "The most difficult period for the NHS is January and February.

"It's certainly not a time of the year, leaving aside Christmas, where you want to take reckless decisions.

"The way to make sure Christmas is enjoyed is for people to take it seriously, follow the guidance.

"Think sensibly, and also coming out of it, be sensible."

Prof Whitty added that he would not 'encourage someone to hug or kiss their elderly relative', while Sit Patrick Vallance stressed the need for social distancing to be maintained over Christmas.

Sir Vallance said one in 85 people in the country have coronavirus at the moment, numbers which he said were ‘very high’.

The chief scientific adviser added that the previous tier system did not manage to decrease the infection rate enough.

He said: “The message is that the tiers worked in terms of slowing but didn’t work in terms of flattening and reversing it.

“The national lockdown looks as if it has flattened it and is sending it downwards and it is important we do bring it down because numbers remain high.”