04:52PM, Saturday 19 December 2020
Residents living in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire will enter a new Tier 4 – seeing the end of hopes for a relaxation of rules over the Christmas period.
In an announcement today, Boris Johnson stated that from tomorrow morning (December 20), most people living in London and the South East must stay home, except for specific exemptions laid out in law. This will be reviewed again on December 30.
Under the new rules, people living in Tier 4 should not mix with anyone outside their household. For the rest of the country, relaxed rules will be in place for Christmas Day only.
"I know how much emotion people invest in this time of year, and how important it is for families to be together, so I know how disappointing this will be," said Mr Johnson. "But when the science changes we must change our response.
"I sincerely believe there is no alternative open to me. Without action, infections would soar, hospitals would be overwhelmed and many more would lose their lives."
Those in Tier 4 can only meet one person from another household in an outdoor public space. People should not travel into or out of a Tier 4 area.
Gyms, leisure facilities and personal care outlets will all be shut, along with non-essential shops.
Communal worship can continue.
The announcement follows news of a new strain of COVID-19 that is more infectious than previous strains.
The Prime Minister said there is no evidence that the new strain is any more lethal or serious. It is expected that the vaccine will still work on the new strain.
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