Coronavirus: What is Tier 4 and which areas are in Tier 4?

19 December 2020, 17:18 | Updated: 31 December 2020, 13:58

More areas have been moved into Tier 4
More areas have been moved into Tier 4 . Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Millions more people in England are now living under Tier 4 restrictions from today, as other areas which have enjoyed lower restrictions have been placed under Tier 3.

The latest announcement means an additional 20 million people are in almost total lockdown from one minute past midnight on Thursday, taking the total number to 44 million - 78% of England's population.

The only area left in Tier 1 in the whole of the UK is the Scilly Isles, with areas including Devon and Cornwall being moved into tougher Tier 3 measures.

Among the areas that have been put into Tier 4 is the Isle of Wight, which a month ago enjoyed Tier 1 - the lowest level of restrictions.

Announcing the latest measures, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the "sharply rising cases and the hospitalisations" that the country is seeing "demonstrate the need to act where the virus is spreading."

So what are Tier 4 restrictions? Which areas will be in Tier 4? And is Christmas cancelled?

Read more: Isles of Scilly residents in England's only Tier 1 area fear arrival of 'selfish' tourists

Boris Johnson announces Tier 4 restrictions for London & South East

What are Tier 4 restrictions?

The new Tier 4 measures mean people must stay at home with few exceptions, however support bubbles can continue for those who are vulnerable or at risk of being lonely.

Non-essential retail must close along with gyms and self-care businesses such as hairdressers, barbers, salons and nail bars.

People should not enter or leave Tier 4 areas or stay overnight at other people's houses in affected towns and cities, although communal worship can continue.

If meeting with people outside, you can only see one other person, similar to the nationwide lockdowns earlier in the year.

Those in Tier 4 cannot travel abroad unless for exceptional work purposes.

Read more: 'Christmas bubbles' only allowed on Xmas Day, PM announces

Read more: New Covid strain spreading quickly as SE hit with tougher rules

Tier 4 'turning point' in covid fight

Which areas are in Tier 4?

Among the areas that have been put into Tier 4 is the Isle of Wight, which a month ago enjoyed Tier 1 - the lowest level of restrictions.

They join the areas that were placed into Tier 4 just before Christmas, including London, the South East and parts of eastern England are in Tier 4.

The full list of those that have moved into Tier 4 is as follows:

Leicester City
Leicestershire (Oadby and Wigston, Harborough, Hinckley and Bosworth, Blaby, Charnwood, North West Leicestershire, Melton) 
Lincolnshire (City of Lincoln, Boston, South Kesteven, West Lindsey, North Kesteven, South Holland, East Lindsey)
Northamptonshire (Corby, Daventry, East Northamptonshire, Kettering, Northampton, South Northamptonshire, Wellingborough)
Derby and Derbyshire (Derby, Amber Valley, South Derbyshire, Bolsover, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield, Erewash, Derbyshire Dales, High Peak) 
Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (Gedling, Ashfield, Mansfield, Rushcliffe, Bassetlaw, Newark and Sherwood, Nottinghamshire, Broxtowe) 
Birmingham and Black Country (Dudley, Birmingham, Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton) 
Coventry 
Solihull 
Warwickshire (Rugby, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Warwick, North Warwickshire, Stratford-upon-Avon) 
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent (East Staffordshire, Stafford, South Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Staffordshire Moorlands, Newcastle under Lyme, Tamworth, Stoke-on-Trent) 
Lancashire (Burnley, Pendle, Blackburn with Darwen, Ribble Valley, Blackpool, Preston, Hyndburn, Chorley, Fylde, Lancaster, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Wyre) 
Cheshire and Warrington (Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Warrington)
Cumbria (Eden, Carlisle, South Lakeland, Barrow-in-Furness, Copeland, Allerdale) 
Greater Manchester (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan)
Tees Valley (Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees ) 
North East (County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside, Sunderland) 
Gloucestershire (Gloucester, Forest of Dean, Cotswolds, Tewkesbury, Stroud, Cheltenham) 
Somerset Council (Mendip, Sedgemoor, Somerset West and Taunton, South Somerset)
Swindon 
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole 
Isle of Wight 
New Forest

Boris Johnson announces Christmas mixing rules

How long will Tier 4 last?

The tiers are reviewed every fortnight, meaning the new restrictions are due to be looked at on or around Jan 13. 

These reviews determine whether areas will move down a tier, remain the same, or move up a tier. 

However, the Prime Minister urged that New Year's Eve would not be exempt from restrictions on socialising.

Government sources also admitted on Dec 20 that Tier 4 restrictions could be toughened further and remain in place until close to Easter.

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