Covid-19: What tier is Cambridgeshire in from Boxing Day? A full list of areas moving to Tier 2, 3 or 4 from December 26
The toughest Tier 4 restrictions are being extended from Boxing Day amid growing concern over the spread of Covid-19.
Cambridgeshire is among the areas moving into the Tier 4, which is effectively lockdown, amid rapidly rising infection rates across the county. It is jumping there from Tier 2, but neighbouring Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and much of Essex were already in the highest alert category.
Also joining London and much of the South East in Tier 4 from December 26 are: Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, those parts of Essex not yet in Tier 4, Waverley in Surrey, and Hampshire – including Portsmouth and Southampton but with the exception of the New Forest.
Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset including the North Somerset council area, Swindon, the Isle of Wight, the New Forest and Northamptonshire as well as Cheshire and Warrington will all be escalated to Tier 3.
Cornwall and Herefordshire move from Tier 1 to Tier 2.
Under Tier 4 - Stay at Home rules:
- People must stay at home, except for limited circumstances
- Non-essential shops, gyms, cinemas, hairdressers and bowling alleys will be forced to close for two weeks
- People should work from home where they can
- People will be restricted to meeting one other person from another household in an outdoor public space
- People should not enter or leave Tier 4 areas, with limited exceptions
- No overseas travel will be allowed, with limited exceptions
- Communal worship can continue.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said a variant of the coronavirus was spreading at a “dangerous rate” as he announced the fresh Tier 4 restrictions.
Mr Hancock told a Downing Street press conference: “Just as we had got a tiered system in place that was able to control this virus we have discovered a new, more contagious virus – a variant that is spreading at a dangerous rate.”
Families in the areas moving into the top tier from Boxing Day could till take advantage of the Christmas Day relaxation of rules and meet others from outside of Tier 4 areas - but council leaders and health authorities are warning that this would risk spreading the coronavirus further and are advising people that it would be much safer not to mix with people outside their household.
The changes mean an additional six million people will be in a Tier 4 lockdown from Boxing Day.
This means a total of 24 million people will now be in effective lockdown, or 43 per cent of the population of England.
A new coronavirus variant linked to South Africa has also been found in the UK and travel restrictions have been placed on the country.
Mr Hancock said the two cases were contacts of people who have travelled from South Africa over the past few weeks.
“This new variant is highly concerning because it is yet more transmissible and it appears to have mutated further than the new variant that has been discovered in the UK,” he said.
The health secretary said the cases and their close contacts have been quarantined.
He announced immediate restrictions on travel from South Africa and the government is telling those who have been to the country in the last fortnight and their close contacts to quarantine immediately.
The law will be changed to make that enforceable, he added.
The challenge facing the government was underlined by official estimates showing the R value, the average number of people someone with coronavirus infects, has increased to 1.1 to 1.3, up from 1.1 to 1.2 a week ago.
The number of new infections is growing by between one and six per cent every day, up from one to four per cent last week.
Areas moving to Tier 4 from Boxing Day
- Remaining parts of Essex not already in Tier 4 (Colchester Borough, Tendring District, and Uttlesford District Councils)
- Remaining parts of East Sussex not already in Tier 4 (Eastbourne Borough Council, Lewes District Council and Wealden District Council)
- West Sussex
- Brighton and Hove
- Hampshire (Basingstoke and Deane Borough, East Hampshire District, Eastleigh Borough, Fareham Borough, Hart District, Rushmoor Borough, Test Valley Borough, Winchester City Councils)
- Waverley Borough
Areas moving to Tier 3 from Boxing Day
- North Somerset
- Cheshire East
- Cheshire West and Chester
- New Forest District
- Isle of Wight
Areas moving to Tier 2 from Boxing Day