Greater Manchester will be placed into Tier 4 restrictions tomorrow following the second official review of the UK government’s tier system.
The new classification was announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock during a direct address to MPs in the House of Commons this afternoon.
These changes will take effect at 0.01am on Thursday 31st December.
Announcing the new classifications, Mr Hancock said: “Unfortunately, this new variant is now spreading across most of England and cases are doubling fast [and] it is therefore necessary to apply Tier 4 measures to a wider area, including the remaining parts of the South East, as well as large parts of the Midlands, the North West, the North East and the South West.”
Lancashire, Cheshire, Warrington, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen will also move from Tier 3 restrictions into Tier 4.
Liverpool City Region will move from Tier 2 restrictions into Tier 3, while Cumbria will from Tier 2 into Tier 4.
The government decides which tier applies in each area based on a range of indicators, including:
- Analysis of cases across all age groups
- Analysis of cases in the over 60s
- The rate by which cases are rising or falling
- The percentage of those tested in local populations with COVID-19
- Pressures on the NHS
The new restrictions will see Greater Manchester residents told to “stay at home”, but what exactly does tier 4 mean for the region?
What are we permitted to and not permitted to do when restrictions take effect from tomorrow?
People must not leave their home or garden unless they have a ‘reasonable excuse’, including where reasonably necessary for work, education, exercise or open air recreation, and essential activities such as medical appointments and to buy food.
People must not meet socially indoors, in a private garden or most outdoor public venues with anybody they do not live with or have a support bubble with.
Everyone who can work from home should do so.
People can see only one other person that they do not live with (or do not have a support bubble with) in certain public outdoor places – such as parks, public gardens, or outdoor sports facilities.
Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – six people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and six people can attend linked commemorative events.
Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, holiday lets and guest houses must close, other than where very limited exceptions apply.
Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha bars), pubs, cafes, restaurants, and social clubs must close except for takeaway, delivery, drive-through and click and collect services. Takeaway must cease between 11pm and 5am, but delivery, drive-through and click-and-collect may continue during this period. This includes restaurants and bars within hotels or members’ clubs.
Indoor entertainment venues, such as casinos, bowling alleys, and bingo halls must close, and cinemas, theatres, and concert venues must also close.
Certain outdoor venues, such as botanical gardens, heritage sites, and zoos and other animal attractions may stay open, although indoor elements at these attractions must also close.
All indoor leisure and sports facilities must close, except where a legal exemption exists, such as for the training of elite sportspersons.gov.uk
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 the toughest tier.
You can find more information regarding Tier 4 restrictions here.
For the latest information, guidance and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, please do refer to official sources at gov.uk/coronavirus.