NATIONAL lockdown has halted most of the services for non-essential businesses, pubs and restaurants around England.
A spike in coronavirus cases saw the strict rules come into place, but it may not be much different at the end, as plans continue to expand the three-tiered lockdown system with a tougher Tier 4.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
What is tier 4 lockdown?
The current national lockdown is set to end on December 2, when towns and cities around England will revert back to the tier system.
Yet, reports suggest there are discussions to change the specifics to each tier – and even extending it beyond its current three with talk of a Tier 4.
This Tier 4 would be stricter than the third tier – or very high alert level – which saw around a fifth of the country falling under heavy restrictions prior to the national lockdown.
Like the nationwide lockdown, Tier 4 could see all non-essential businesses and restaurants close with chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty previously warning that Tier Three restrictions may not be enough to stop the rising number of covid cases.
iNews reported in October that discussions among officials in Whitehall and local authorities were already underway over adding a fourth tier.
Under tier three, pubs and bars that do not serve substantial meals are required to close, as are casinos, adult gaming centres, and soft play centres.
But, non-essential shops can remain open under tier three restrictions.
Should there be a tier four, schools will not be permitted to shut.
When could Tier 4 be in place?
Any extra restrictions with regards to the tiered system will not be in place until after the national lockdown has ended – which is currently December 2.
This is as fears continue to rise over if restrictions will be relaxed enough for people to enjoy a relatively normal Christmas and festive period.
This will largely depend on the R rate with most recent figures revealing that the infection rate is slowing down.
What do tiers 1, 2, and 3 mean?
Tier three areas are considered to be “very high risk”, where virus transmission rates are of the biggest concern.
Liverpool, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire were among the areas that were in the third tier prior to the national lockdown.
This meant that households were not allowed to mix indoors or outdoors – including in private gardens.
Warrington also fell into the Tier three restrictions in October.
Under these rules, pubs and bars close unless they operate as a restaurant, while people are advised against travel in and out of the areas.
Those in tier three are not allowed to stay overnight somewhere if it means they'll be inside with people outside their household or support bubble.
Upon the return to the tiered system, areas in tier three are expected to be at this level for 28 days then a review should take place.
Soft play centres are also ordered to close under tier three restrictions.
People living in tier two areas, which included London, Coventry, Stoke, Slough, York, Cheshire, Leeds, Sunderland and Leicester prior to the nationwide shutdown, were banned from mixing with other households indoors, including in pubs.
When outside, only two households are able to mix.
Tier one is seen as “medium risk” and covered the rest of England.
Under these restrictions, pubs must close at 10pm and the rule of six still applied.
Source: Read Full Article