Less than half of UK workplaces enable social distancing. Image Source: IANS News

London, Nov 27 : Another 17,555 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 15,74,562, according to official figures released on Thursday.

The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 498 to 57,031, the data showed.

Earlier Thursday, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that most of England will face harsh coronavirus restrictions in the new three-tier system when the lockdown ends next week, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Large parts of the Midlands, North East and North West, including Manchester, as well as Kent, will face the toughest restrictions in Tier Three, according to Hancock.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, expressed his concerns over the impact of Tier Three restrictions on businesses.

"The new Tier Three will hit the hospitality sector extremely hard. While there are grants for businesses forced to close, there is no extra support for business which supply them like security, catering and cleaning," he said.

"This will cause real hardship for people whose jobs will be affected and risk the loss of many businesses." In Tier Three areas, all pubs, bars and restaurants must close except for delivery, takeaway and drive-through. Hotels and indoor entertainment venues must also close in these areas.

A majority of areas including London, and Liverpool city region are listed in Tier Two.

The Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are the only areas of England in Tier One, the lowest level of restrictions.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Monday a "tougher" tiered system of coronavirus restrictions to replace England's current lockdown when it ends on Dec. 2.

England is currently under a month-long national lockdown, the second of its kind since the coronavirus outbreak in Britain, in a bid to quell the resurgence of coronavirus.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

 Latest updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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