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Three quarters of England will be in highest tier from midnight as rules extended

Written by on 30 December 2020

Millions more people are facing tighter restrictions after the government announced an extension of Tier 4 rules in England in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that although the changes will “place a significant burden on people, and especially on businesses affected”, they were “absolutely necessary because of the number of cases that we’ve seen”.

He told MPs: “Sharply rising cases and the hospitalisations that follow demonstrate the need to act where the virus is spreading.”

Mr Hancock confirmed that the remaining parts of the South East currently not in Tier 4 will be under the new restrictions within hours, along with large parts of the Midlands, the North East, the North West and the South West.

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What are the rules in different tiers in England?

What are the rules in different tiers in England?

He was speaking as concerns grow about a new variant of the virus, which appears to be more transmissible and which he said was “now spreading across most of England”.

The changes will move an additional 20 million people into Tier 4, meaning a total of 44 million people (78% of England’s population) will be in that toughest tier.

Tier 4 restrictions include a warning to stay at home, a limit on household mixing to two people outdoors, and the closure of non-essential shops, as well as hairdressers and gyms.

Areas that will be covered by the Tier 4 rules from 00.01am on Thursday are:

  • 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

Also, the following areas will move to Tier 3 at the same time:

  • Rutland
  • Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
  • Worcestershire (Bromsgrove, Malvern Hills, Redditch, Worcester, Wychavon, Wyre Forest)
  • Herefordshire
  • Liverpool City Region (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, St Helens)
  • York & North Yorkshire (Scarborough, Hambleton, Richmondshire, Selby, Craven, Ryedale, Harrogate, City of York)
  • Bath and North East Somerset
  • Devon, Plymouth, Torbay (East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge, West Devon, Plymouth, Torbay)
  • Cornwall
  • Dorset
  • Wiltshire

This will mean 12 million people will be in Tier 3 – 22% of England’s population.

There will be no areas in Tier 2 and the Isles of Scilly will stay in Tier 1.

The changes come after two days when more than 50,000 new cases of the virus were reported – 50,023 on Wednesday and 53,135 on Tuesday.

Also on Wednesday, the government announced that a second COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use and can be distributed from 4 January.

Mr Hancock said the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine “is our way out of the pandemic”.

Earlier, he told Sky News: “It’s very good news for accelerating the vaccine rollout. It brings forward the day we can get our lives back to normal.”