From tomorrow all parts of the North East and the Tees Valley will be under Tier 4 restrictions.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson first brought in Tier 4 on Saturday, December 19, for a large area of the South and South East as concerns were also raised about a new variant of Covid-19, which scientists believe spreads more easily, although does not make people more unwell.
The restrictions put in place as part of the alert states: “This means that you cannot leave or be outside of the place you are living unless you have a reasonable excuse.”
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Here’s what you need to know about the finer detail of the restrictions.
What counts as a reasonable excuse to leave home?
*Work and volunteering – If you cannot work from home and includes working in other’s homes
*Essential activities – Visiting local shops, services and for click-and-collect services or takeaway, to get money or deposit it or access a critical service
*Fulfilling legal obligations – These include buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property
*Education and childcare – Parents can take children to school and existing childcare arrangements when parents live apart and including childcare bubbles can continue.
*Meeting others and care – This includes a support bubble, informal childcare, care for vulnerable people, emergency assistance, to attend a support group of up to 15 people, or for respite care.
*Exercise and recreation – Exercise outdoors or to visit public outdoor places. People can meet another person if social distancing is maintained.
*Medical reasons, harm and compassionate visits – These include a Covid-19 test, to be with someone giving birth, to avoid injury or to escape harm, plus animal welfare reasons, visits to someone dying or in a care home, hospice or hospital or accompany someone to a medical appointment.
*Communal worship and life events – This includes a funeral, a burial ground or a remembrance garden and a wedding ceremony, but are subject to limited numbers.
What happens if you break the rules?
Police can take action against larger groups, with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to £6,400.
Those who hold an illegal gathering of over 30 people can be given fines of £10,000.
What about travel?
People in Tier 4 areas must not leave their area or travel internationally, other than for the legally permitted reasons, to visit and stay overnight with a support bubble or your childcare bubble for childcare.
Staying in a holiday home, including a caravan, is not allowed.
What businesses and venues must close?
Non-essential retail, cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs must shut, but takeaways and click-and-collect can continue.
Accommodation can only take those who need somewhere to stay for work or to support the homeless.
Leisure and sports facilities and entertainment venues and personal care facilities must close.
Grounds of indoor attractions can stay open.
Community venues must close except for exempt activities and libraries can remain open for access to IT and digital services.
You can still move, but people outside your household or support bubble should not help unless absolutely necessary.
Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work and property viewings are allowed.
Which areas will be moved into Tier 4 after the announcement on December 30?
The areas to go into Tier 4, according to the Department of Health, are:
– the city of Leicester
– 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, Broxtowe)
– Birmingham and Black Country (Dudley, Birmingham, Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton)
– 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)
– Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
– Isle of Wight
– New Forest