Full list of restrictions for areas in Tier Four

On 19 December, the Government announced that parts of Essex were entering a new tier - Tier 4 - Stay at Home from 00:01 on 20 December. Please note this excludes Colchester, Tendring, and Uttlesford who remain in TIER 2.

Below are details of the restrictions that apply in Tier 4. The starting point for Tier 4 is that people must not leave their home except for where they have a specific purpose, or a ‘reasonable excuse’ – which is restricted to:

  • Work and volunteering

  • Essential activities such as buying food or medication (including collecting food or drink -ordered through click-and-collect or as a takeaway)

  • Fulfilling legal obligations

  • Education and childcare

  • Communal worship and life events

  • Exercise and recreation

  • Medical reasons and compassionate visits

Travelling out of a Tier 4 area You must stay at home and not leave your Tier 4 area, other than for legally permitted reasons such as:

  • travel to work where you cannot work from home

  • travel to education and for caring responsibilities

  • visit those in your support bubble - or your childcare bubble for childcare

  • attend hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health

Travelling to a Tier 4 area from a Tier 1, 2 or 3 area You should not travel into a Tier 4 area from another part of the UK, other than for reasons such as:

  • travel to work where you cannot work from home

  • travel to education and for caring responsibilities

  • to visit those in your support bubble - or your childcare bubble for childcare

  • to attend hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health

International travel to or from a Tier 4 area If you are in Tier 4, you should not be travelling abroad unless it is permitted. In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting. People who live outside a tier 4 area, may still transit into or through a tier 4 area to travel abroad if they need to, but they should carefully consider whether they need to do so. Staying away from home overnight You cannot leave home for holidays or stays overnight away from your main home unless permitted by law. This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed. This includes staying in a second home or caravan, or staying with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with.

You are allowed to stay overnight away from your home if you:

  • are unable to return to your main residence

  • need accommodation while moving house

  • need accommodation to attend a funeral or related commemorative event

  • require accommodation for work purposes or to provide voluntary services

  • are a child requiring accommodation for school or care

  • are homeless, seeking asylum or a vulnerable person seeking refuge

  • are an elite athlete or their support staff or parent, if the athlete is under 18, and it is necessary to be outside the home for training or competition

People on holiday in a Tier 4 area should return to their home as soon as practical. Meeting other people

In general, people must not meet with another person socially or undertake any activities with another person. However, they can exercise or meet in a public outdoor place with people they live with, their support bubble (or as part of a childcare bubble), or with one other person.

People can exercise or visit a public outdoor place, alone, with the people they live with, their support bubble or, when on their own, with 1 person from another household. Children under 5, and up to two carers for a person with a disability who needs continuous care are not counted towards the outdoors gatherings limit.

Public outdoor places include: parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests, public gardens (whether you pay to enter them or not), allotments, the grounds of a heritage site, outdoor sports courts and facilities and playgrounds.

Larger groups are permitted for a wedding or equivalent ceremony in exceptional circumstances, for example where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover ('deathbed wedding') or due to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery. These weddings are limited to 6 people.

Funerals - up to a maximum of 30 people can take place. Wakes and other linked ceremonial events can continue in a group of up to 6.

Accommodation Guest accommodation providers such as hotels, B&B's and caravan parks must close except for the specific reasons set out in law, including where guests:

  • Are unable to return to their main residence

  • Use that accommodation as their main residence

  • Need accommodation while moving house or attending a funeral

  • Need to self-isolate as required by law

  • Need accommodation for the purposes of their work, or children who need accommodation for the purposes of education

  • Are elite athletes, their coach or (in the case of an elite athlete who is a child), the parent of an elite athlete, and need accommodation for the purposes of training or competition

  • Are currently in that accommodation at the time when national restrictions come into force.

  • Are visiting from abroad on holiday or for work purposes

  • Are being provided accommodation to relieve homelessness

  • is a carer for someone they live with and is seeking respite

They can also open:

  • to enable voting, including an overseas election

  • as a women’s refuge or a vulnerable person’s refuge

  • for blood donation

  • for any purpose requested by the Secretary of State, or a local authority

Accommodation providers are also encouraged to work cooperatively with Local Authorities to provide accommodation to vulnerable groups including the homeless in Tier 4 areas.

Accommodation businesses are allowed to host people who were staying in that accommodation immediately before the time when the area in which the accommodation is located became part of the Tier 4 area. Other tourism related businesses The following businesses and venues must close:

  • non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods - these venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services

  • hospitality venues such as cafés, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; except for providing food and drink for takeaway (between 5am and 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery

  • leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and indoor gyms, indoor swimming pools, indoor tennis and basketball courts, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor climbing walls

  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks

  • indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open

  • Conference centres and exhibition halls

The following businesses and venues may remain open:

  • Outdoor playgrounds

  • Outdoor gyms, pools, sports courts and facilities

  • Golf courses

  • Archery/driving/shooting ranges (outdoors)

  • Outdoor riding centres

  • Parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests, public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)

  • Grounds of heritage sites

  • Market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open

  • Car parks

  • Public toilets

Businesses and venues will also be permitted to be open for a few exempt activities, including:

  • Education and training - for schools to use sports, leisure and community facilities where that is part of their normal provision

  • Childcare purposes and supervised activities for children

  • Hosting blood donation sessions and food banks

  • To provide medical treatment

  • For elite sports persons to train and compete (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), and professional dancers and choreographers to work (in fitness and dance studios)

  • For training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)

  • For the purposes of professional film and TV filming

Weddings Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies should not take place except in exceptional circumstances, for example where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover ('deathbed wedding') or due to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery. These weddings are limited to 6 people. If you live in a tier 4 area and are going to a wedding, funeral or linked commemorative event outside the tier 4 area, the event must follow the tier 4 gathering limits on the events.



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