Six million move into different tiers on Boxing Day – here’s what will change

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Six million people are moving into different tiers from Boxing Day in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

From midnight more areas of the UK have been lifted into tighter Covid rules, bringing 24 million people under the strictest measures.

It comes after the government was alerted to a new strain of coronavirus, which is claimed to be more infectious.

The move to bring in tougher measures has been set in place after a brief relaxation was allowed in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 yesterday so families could celebrate Christmas.

But as the clock heralded Boxing Day, tougher restrictions were back.

Which areas are now in Tier 4?

  • Sussex
  • Oxfordshire
  • Suffolk
  • Norfolk
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Those parts of Essex not yet in Tier 4, Waverley in Surrey and Hampshire including Portsmouth and Southampton, except the New Forest

Here's what you can and can't do in Tier 4

The Tier 4 rules are very similar to the rules of the November national lockdown, reports The Mirror.

All non-essential shops, pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, gyms and leisure centres, and other entertainment venues (such as theatres and cinemas) must close in Tier 4.

  • Boris Johnson won't rule out third lockdown after Christmas to 'buy time before vaccine'

Only essential shops are allowed to open, and a stay at home order has been put into law for Tier 4 residents.

As in previous lockdowns there are exemptions – if you need to leave your home for essential shopping, education, childcare, work (if you can’t work from home) and unlimited exercise. Outdoor sport can also take place.

The public is advised not to leave or enter a Tier 4 area, and Tier 4 residents must not stay overnight anywhere other than their own home.

Weddings are only allowed to go ahead in exceptional circumstances.

One person from one household is allowed to meet one person from another household in a public, outdoor space. This means a maximum of two people can meet up, although there is an exception for those with young children, or those with severe disabilities who are dependent on round the clock care.

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House moves can continue in Tier 4, and nurseries are allowed to stay open. Places of worship can remain open with social distancing in place.

Support and childcare bubbles still stand in Tier 4, even if that means people crossing from one tier into another.

Boris Johnson is believed to be intending to keep schools in Tier 4 open when the Christmas holidays finish in January.

Which areas are now in Tier 3?

  • Bristol

  • Gloucestershire

  • Somerset including the North Somerset Council area

  • Swindon

  • Isle of Wight

  • The New Forest

  • Northamptonshire as well as Cheshire and Warrington

Which areas are now in Tier 2?

  • Cornwall

  • Herefordshire

Here's what you can and can't do in Tier 2 and 3

The main thing residents shifting from Tier 2 to 3 will be leaving behind is the ability to eat and drink out at a pub or restaurant.

Under Tier 2 restrictions, hospitality venues which which serve food remain open for members of the same household to eat and drink inside and others to dine outside.

In Tier 3, however, those same places must only open for takeaway and delivery business.

People still enjoying Tier 2 freedoms can go to casinos, go bowling, skating and visit museums and galleries — while those living in Very High alert areas cannot.

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Hotels and Airbnb properties, along with cinemas and theatres otherwise open in Tier 2, are also forced shut in areas where the Covid-19 infection rate is at its highest.

In better news, activities Tier 3 dwellers do not have to give up are getting a haircut, shopping for non-essential items and, bizarrely, a relaxing spa day with a sauna and steam room.

The government's Tier 2 rules state you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.

Even when outside, you must not socialise in a group of more than six, which is the same in Tier 3.

No spectators are allowed at all for events in tier three and the likes of bingo halls, arcades and escape rooms must all close until further notice.

  • Coronavirus

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