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England told to expect tougher Covid rules to allow for festive gatherings

Local councils expecting rules to be tighter than three-tier system but to allow shops to stay open

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Ministers are expected to announce a tougher system of regional coronavirus rules for England next week to let families see each other at Christmas, as scientists warned that every day of festive respite would require five days of restrictions.

Further data on the impact of the England-wide lockdown which ends on 2 December is needed before the government makes a final decision, but documents outlining possible amended tiers within the traffic light-style system are understood to have been circulated to some departments.

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