England move to tier 4 starting Sunday 20th December
England move to tier 4 starting Sunday 20th December because of an increase in Covid-19 infection rates. Christmas rules tightened for England, Scotland and Wales
From midnight, a new tier four was introduced in areas including London, Kent, Essex and Bedfordshire. ‘Tier 4 – Stay At Home’ comes into effect on 20 December in the following areas:
- All 32 boroughs from greater London and the City of London.
- Buckinghamshire (including Milton Keynes)
- Surrey (excluding Waverley)
- Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth
- Rother and Hastings
- Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring)
Those in tier four cannot mix indoors with anyone not from their household.
Elsewhere in England, Scotland and Wales, relaxed indoor mixing rules are cut from five days to Christmas Day.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the changes for England at a Downing Street briefing after scientists said a new coronavirus variant was spreading more rapidly.
Tier-four restrictions – similar to England’s second national lockdown – will apply in all areas in the South East currently in tier three, covering Kent, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey (excluding Waverley), Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings.
It will also apply in London (all 32 boroughs and the City of London) and the East of England (Bedford, Central Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring).
In Scotland, Covid restrictions will only be relaxed on Christmas Day, with mainland Scotland being placed under the tightest restrictions from Boxing Day.
Outlining the changes, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she wished she had acted quicker to curb the virus in February, adding: “Standing here saying this actually makes me want to cry.”