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Covid tier 4 rules in England: latest restrictions explained


Large areas of England are to join London, the south-east and east of England in tier 4, amid a surge in Covid-19 cases and alarm about a new strain of coronavirus spreading rapidly.

What does tier 4 mean?

Under tier 4 restrictions, non-essential shops, hairdressers, and leisure and entertainment venues must close, with a new “stay at home” message introduced.

People who need to travel for education or childcare are exempt, and exercise is unlimited. Where people cannot work from home, they will still be able to travel to work.

Under the measures, households are not allowed to mix, but one person is allowed to meet with one other person outside in a public space. Support bubbles and those meeting for childcare are exempt.

Those who are deemed clinically extremely vulnerable should not go to work and should limit time outside of their homes.

Tier 4 residents must not stay overnight away from home, and cannot travel abroad.

What can I do in each tier?

People in all tiers are advised to stay local, and if you travel, your restrictions follow you. For example, if you live in a tier 3 area, you must continue to follow tier 3 rules even when you travel to a tier 1 or tier 2 area.

You can find out which tier you live in here.

You can read more on the tier 3 regulations here, tier 2 regulations here and tier 1 regulations here.

How long will the measures last?

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, has said that these restrictions are likely to last for months, until the vaccine has been rolled out across the UK. The measures will be reviewed on 30 December, as part of a wider review of tier restrictions.

  • Due to the unprecedented and ongoing nature of the coronavirus outbreak, this article is being regularly updated to ensure that it reflects the current situation as best as possible. The most recent update will have been made at the date shown at the top of the article. Any significant corrections made to this or previous versions of the article will continue to be footnoted below in line with Guardian editorial policy.



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