What is Tier 4 and what are the rules?

BORIS Johnson has introduced a new, tougher fourth tier of coronavirus restrictions for England, which will scupper Christmas plans for millions of people.

It comes in response to a new Covid strain, which has caused spikes in coronavirus infections in London, and parts of the South East.

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What is Tier 4?

With coronavirus cases continuing to rise and the upcoming Christmas break, stricter rules have been imposed.

This has seen the Christmas bubbles cancelled for a number of areas in the new Tier 4 restrictions.

A third national lockdown had been a possibility, but an extra – and tougher – Tier 4 has been introduced for the worst-affected areas in England.

What are the Tier 4 rules?

You must stay at home and only leave for a specific purpose or if you have a "reasonable excuse".

This includes going to work if it cannot be done from home, shopping for essentials such as food and medicine, attending education or training, using registered childcare, outdoor exercise and for medical reasons.

You will NOT be able to join or form Christmas bubbles.

The rules are strict: you cannot meet other people indoors unless you live with them or they are part of your existing support bubble.

Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household in a public place.

Support and childcare bubbles can continue in Tier 4 areas.

Early years settings and childminders can remain open as normal, while nannies are also allowed to carry on providing services, including in the home.

You are allowed to take unlimited exercise alone, or in a public outdoor place with your household, support bubble, or one other person.

But indoor leisure and sports facilities, including gyms, must close.

Non-essential retail must close, including clothing and homeware stores, betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops.

But, these stores can continue to operate click-and-collect systems, if goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises, and delivery services.

Cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs having to stay closed under Tier 4.

They can, however, provide food and drink through takeaways until 11pm, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery.

Elsewhere, entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums, galleries and casinos also must shut their doors.

It comes as….

  • The new variant strain of the virus which causes Covid-19 may be up to 70% more transmissible – and could increase the R value by 0.4
  • All Brits have been told to stay local during the festive season
  • Christmas bubbles in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 have been cut to just 24 hours on December 25
  • Non-essential shops and gyms in Tier 4 areas must be closed from midnight
  • Those in Tier 4 will be able to meet only one other person outdoors – but must not stay overnight from home

What areas are in Tier 4?

London and the South East are among those to be affected by the new Tier 4 restrictions as the new Covid strain decimates the country.

The mutant variant is said to be 70 per cent more contagious than the current strain. ImageUpload an image file, pick one from your media library, or add one with a URL.UploadMedia Library

  • Kent
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Berkshire
  • Surrey (excluding Waverley)
  • The boroughs of Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings
  • All 32 London boroughs and the city of London.
  • Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough
  • Hertfordshire
  • Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring).

Full list of areas in Tier 4

HERE is the full list of areas in Tier 4.

  • Kent
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Berkshire
  • Surrey (excluding Waverley)
  • The boroughs of Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings
  • All 32 London boroughs and the city of London.
  • Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough
  • Hertfordshire
  • Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring).

When will Tier 4 lockdown end?

According to the prime minister, the tier 4 measures will be in place for an initial two-week period and will be reviewed on December 30.

But Health Secretary Matt Hancock has suggested restrictions which forced millions of people across the UK to tear up their Christmas plans may have to remain for "the next couple of months".

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