The Prime Minister has outlined the decision for the new tier structure, which severely restricts 99% of England.
The move has only put Cornwall and the Isle of Wight in the lowest tier, with everyone else under tier 2 or tier 3 rules.
Boris Johnson defended the government’s latest layered controls for England, saying they were essential to bring down the coronavirus.
The prime minister acknowledged that many people felt “frustrated,” especially when they were in an area with low contamination rates.
Areas like South Hams in Devon – which has the lowest rate in the country – have been placed in the same middle tier as Liverpool – which was in tier three before the lockdown.
“I know it is frustrating for people when they are in an elevated area when there are few incidents in their village or area. I totally understand why people are frustrated, ”he said on a visit to a public health laboratory in Wiltshire.
“The trouble is, if you did it any other way, you would first of all divide the country into a lot of very complicated subdivisions – there has to be some simplicity and clarity in the way we do this.
“The second problem is that, unfortunately, our experience is that when a high incidence area is quite close to a low incidence area, unless you solve the problem in the high incidence area, the low incidence area starts in. to get. “
Mr Johnson said more massive coronavirus tests are in the pipeline and delivering tests with quick results is not a problem as the UK will be running its own tests in a few months.
The Prime Minister said, “We have dozens, maybe hundreds, millions of side stream tests entering this country. We already have a huge stock.
“The difficulty is currently not in the supply, the difficulty is in actually working with the local government, local communities to get them done.
“Liverpool has already shown the way. We now look at Barnsley, Doncaster and other places in the country where they want to work together and do it.
“I just spoke to a number of scientists in this lab here at PHE (Public Health England) in Porton Down – we are seeing real progress in a UK made lateral flow test.
“We are not there yet, but in the coming months we will also be making them in this country.
So I don’t think stock will be the problem. The problem is that everyone is mobilized to understand the potential benefits of mass community testing. “