Tier 5 lockdown restrictions would be tougher than the current Tier 4 rules which are currently impacting more than 40 million people (78 percent) in England. Many experts claim Tier 4 restrictions are proving ineffective in successfully curbing the spread of the deadly coronavirus, particularly as the new Covid-19 variant has proven to be more transmissible than the original strain. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide to show the 25 areas at risk of moving up to Tier 5.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned of tighter restrictions coming in the coming weeks as new coronavirus cases in the UK hit 50,000 for the sixth day in a row.
Schools are due to reopen today, January 4, prompting fears about cases rising in the wake of this return to schools before the vaccine has been distributed to the education sector.
Mr Johnson addressed the speculation about Tier 5 restrictions on Sunday, January 3.
Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show on the BBC, Mr Johnson said: “It may well be that we need to do things in the next few weeks that will be tougher in some parts of the country… I am reconciled to that and I think people around the country are reconciled to that too.”
The PM added: “There are obviously a range of tougher measures that we would have to consider.
“Well, obviously, we’re going to continue to assess the impact of the Tier 4 measures, the Tier 3 measures.
“I’m not going to speculate now about what they would be, but I’m sure that all our viewers and our listeners will understand what the sort of things… clearly school closures, which we had to do in March is one of those things.”
READ MORE: Boris Johnson update: When is his next Covid lockdown announcement?
These Tier 4 areas show an increase in current prevalence rates of the virus over the past seven days to January 3 and therefore are potentially at risk of being moved into Tier 5 if the Whitehall source’s claims prove correct:
- Warrington and Cheshire – prevalence rate of 496 per 100,000 population
- Cumbria – prevalence rate of 401 per 100,000 population
- North East 7 (LA7) – prevalence rate of 435 per 100,000 population
- Lincolnshire – prevalence rate of 503 per 100,000 population
- Birmingham and Black Country – prevalence rate of 900 per 100,000 population
- Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent – prevalence rate of 586 per 100,000 population
- Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull – prevalence rate of 412 per 100,000 population
- London – prevalence rate of 2,079 per 100,000 population
- Essex, Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea – prevalence rate of 1,642 per 100,000 population
- Hertfordshire – prevalence rate of 1,085 per 100,000 population
- Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes – prevalence rate of 926 per 100,000 population
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough – prevalence rate of 770 per 100,000 population
- Norfolk – prevalence rate of 625 per 100,000 population
- Suffolk – prevalence rate of 607 per 100,000 population
- Kent and Medway – prevalence rate of 1,232 per 100,000 population
- Buckinghamshire – prevalence rate of 947 per 100,000 population
- East and West Sussex, and Brighton and Hove – prevalence rate of 917 per 100,000 population
- Surrey – prevalence rate of 768 per 100,000 population
- Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton – prevalence rate of 768 per 100,000 population
- Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell Forest, Windsor and Maidenhead, West Berkshire – prevalence rate of 704 per 100,000 population
- Oxfordshire – prevalence rate of 555 per 100,000 population
- Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole – prevalence rate of 473 per 100,000 population
- Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset – prevalence rate of 417 per 100,000 population
- Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset – prevalence rate of 397 per 100,000 population
- Wiltshire and Swindon – prevalence rate of 384 per 100,000 population.
READ MORE: Can you go for a walk in Tier 4?
What would Tier 5 look like?
In late December, a senior Whitehall source warned England could see tighter restrictions in the coming days as cases continue to soar.
The source added new measures, “adding another level onto Tier 4, so like a Tier 5.”
They said: “We are ruling nothing out, the new strain is of serious concern. Tier 4 appears to not be strong enough.”
However as the Government has yet to speak directly about Tier 5 restrictions, there is a certain level of uncertainty about what these measures would look like, but it can be assumed they would be more restrictive than current Tier 4 restrictions.
Tier 4 rules currently mandate:
- People should remain at home unless they have a “reasonable excuse” to leave their homes such as for work or education
- All non-essential shops must close
- Hairdressers and nail bars must shut
- Indoor entertainment venues must close
- You cannot meet people indoors unless they are in your household or support bubble
- Gyms, indoor swimming pools, indoor sports courts and dance studios must shut.
- People cannot leave tier four areas or travel abroad except for a limited number of reasons.
- Weddings and civil partnerships are banned except in exceptional circumstances.
- Clinically vulnerable people are urged to stay at home “as much as possible”.
- You can only meet one person in an outdoor public space if you are both alone.