Tier 4 comes into force across the South East, London and East of England tomorrow (December 20) at 00.01am.
The rules are similar to the November lockdown and mean many businesses will have to close yet again and people are expected to stay at home once more.
Stay at home
Residents must stay at home, apart from limited exemptions set out in law such as travelling to work or education, for childcare purposes, and for exercise.
You can leave home to buy things at shops which are permitted to open in your area, but you should stay local. For instance you can leave home to buy food or medicine, or to collect any items – including food or drink – ordered through click-and-collect or as a takeaway, to obtain or deposit money (e.g. from a bank or post office), or to access critical public services.
You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble.
Non-essential retail, indoor leisure [such as swimming pools and gyms], indoor entertainment [such as cinemas, bowling alleys and casinos], and personal care sectors [such as nail bars, barbers and hairdressers] must all close.
These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services and hospitality venues can provide food and drink for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites must close, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities. Libraries can remain open to provide access to IT and digital services – for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect services
Can I work?
People must work from home if they can, but may travel to work if this is not possible, for example in the construction and manufacturing sectors.
People should not enter or leave tier 4 areas, and tier 4 residents must not stay overnight away from home.
Those in tier 4 areas will not be permitted to travel abroad apart from limited exceptions, such as for work purposes.
Who can I meet?
Individuals can only meet one person from another household in an outdoor public space. Rules on support bubbles and childcare bubbles will remain as currently.
Children under 5, and up to two carers for a person with a disability who needs continuous care are not counted towards the outdoors gatherings limit.
You cannot meet people in a private garden, unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them.
People can continue existing arrangements for contact between parents and children where they live apart. This includes childcare bubbles.
What if I am clinically vulnerable?
Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, which includes people with certain types of cancer, people on immunosuppression therapy, and people with severe respiratory conditions, shouldn’t go to work and should limit time outside the home, and take exercise outside at less busy times.
Unlike the November national restrictions, communal worship can continue to take place in tier 4 areas.
Support and childcare bubbles
You can form a support bubble with another household if any of the following apply to you:
- you are the only adult in your household (any other members of the household having been under 18 on 12 June 2020), or are an under 18 year old living without any adults
- you live with someone with a disability who requires continuous care and there is no other adult living in the household
- you live with a child under 1, or who was under 1 on 2 December 2020
- you live with a child under 5, or who was under 5 on 2 December 2020, with a disability
The Christmas relaxation measures are reversed in Tier 4 and across England the relaxation is now only in place for Christmas Day.
It means those living in tier 4 areas should not mix with anyone outside their own household at Christmas, though support bubbles will remain in place for those at particular risk of loneliness or isolation.
Across the rest of the country, the Christmas rules allowing up to three households to meet will now be limited to Christmas Day only, rather than the five days as previously set out.
The tier allocations will be reviewed on December 30.
Those providing essential goods and services, including:
- essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres and Christmas tree retailers, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
- market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open
- businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services
- petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
- banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
- funeral directors
- laundrettes and dry cleaners
- medical and dental services
- vets and pet shops
- animal rescue centres, boarding facilities, and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes)
- agricultural supplies shops
- mobility and disability support shops
- storage and distribution facilities
- car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
- outdoor playgrounds
- outdoor gym, pools, sports courts and facilities
- golf courses
- archery/driving/shooting ranges (outdoors)
- outdoor riding centres