Tier 6 coronavirus lockdown restrictions are in force across England as Covid-19 cases continue to rise despite being more than a week into a national lockdown. Many hailed the lockdown as Tier 5 lockdown restrictions and now the concept of Tier 6 restrictions are being discussed seeing as the current lockdown measures are proving ineffective in stopping the spread of the virus. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide to explain what a Tier 6 lockdown would mean and what the rules would be.
England was plunged into its third national lockdown in early January as the new Covid-19 variant causes cases of the deadly virus to rise.
Mr Johnson mandated everyone stay at home except for a set of very specific reasons including exercise, to undertake worship and to attend work when unable to work from home.
The Prime Minister warned tougher restrictions might be the only way to slow the spread of the virus if people continue to flout the current rules.
This week he said: “This is a very perilous moment because everybody can sense that the vaccine is coming in and they can see that the UK is vaccinating large numbers of those that need it most.
“My worry is… that this is the moment when that degree of false confidence, false complacency, and that when you look at what has happened in the NHS that complacency is not merited.”
Mr Johnson added: “We have a very tough fight on our hands.”
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In recent weeks both Essex and London have declared major incidents as a result of the pandemic warning NHS hospitals are reaching breaking point.
England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said the next few weeks will be very difficult for the NHS.
Professor Whitty urged people to follow lockdown rules warning the UK has not yet hit the peak of the current wave of the coronavirus infection.
He added “the worst” of the pandemic for the NHS is expected in the next few weeks.
Professor Whitty told the BBC: “I don’t think we’re yet at the peak, I’m afraid.
“I think we will be at the peak if everybody can double down and absolutely minimise their contacts.
“The point of the lockdown is to bring that forward, but it only works if everyone really thinks about every individual interaction they have and to try and minimise them.”
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today tightened lockdown restrictions in the country.
She told MSPs that the “race against the virus” must be stepped up.
Under new rules which come into effect on Saturday, only shops selling essential items will be allowed to offer click and collect services which must be outdoors.
In addition, takeaways can no longer allow customers indoors to undertake their collections and a ban on alcohol outdoors will take effect, meaning takeaway pints will no longer be permitted.
Ms Sturgeon announced a strengthening in the law as regards working from home and said rules around work carried out in private properties will be tightened to ensure it is essential work rather than decorative or non-essential.
The First Minister also said the wording of the stay at home law will be altered to “close an apparent loophole” which prevents people from leaving and “remaining” outdoors other than for an essential purpose.
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The current Tier 5 lockdown restrictions mandate all primary schools, secondary schools and colleges are closed except for the children of key workers and vulnerable children.
University students are not permitted to return to normal studies unless they are studying a critical course.
People must work from home where possible, except for those unable to do so or key workers.
All non-essential shops must close, but restaurants can continue to offer delivery and takeaway services.
Social interactions with people outside your household or bubble are banned.
However, you can meet with one person outside your household for exercise.
Support and childcare bubbles were also allowed to remain in place under the new lockdown
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What would Tier 5 lockdown rules mean?
It can be assumed Tier 6 lockdown rules would likely require even stricter rules.
Tier 6 would likely mean a tightening of the current rules and could involve any of the following measures:
- A ban of all household mixing while exercising
- Supermarkets legally requiring masks
- Making face masks compulsory in offices, queues and other crowded places outside.
- Ending support bubbles
- Closing nursery schools
- Shutting places of worship
The Prime Minister addressed two of these potential restrictions on Monday: mandating masks in supermarkets and takeaway cafes in public spaces.
The PM said: “Now is the moment for maximum vigilance, maximum observance of the rules.
“Of course, if we feel that things are not being properly observed then we may have to do more.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has spoken about potentially banning exercise with a member of a different household.
But he later said people would still be able to do that.
In addition, Mr Hancock this week confirmed the Government has no plans to remove support and childcare bubbles.