New Tier-4 restrictions to be enforced to high-risk areas across England. PM, Boris Johnson announced the news today, 19 December, 16:10 (GMT). It has been a decision, made after critical findings that the new ‘strain’ of Covid-19 has ‘up to a 70% higher transmission rate’. Stringent conversations have been had and Mr Johnson says, ‘We must take action now’; Closely approaching Christmas, what will this news mean?
The main points from Downing Street
- A new strain of Covid-19 is said to be ‘up-to 70% more transmissable than the old variant’.
- The rapidly increasing Covid-19 cases in the South-East are being ‘driven’ by the new strain, Mr Johnson says, ‘radically shifting in the last 24hrs’.
- From tomorrow morning London, the South East and some of Eastern England will enter Tier-Four. A review will be made in two weeks, 30 December.
- The Christmas relaxation period is ‘scrapped’ and we are all urged to remain at home. However, those in Tiers one, two and three will still be allowed to bubble with up-to three households on Christmas Day, only.
What does Tier Four mean?
- From 00:01hrs 20 December, Tier-Four will be enforced.
- Tier-four areas urged to ‘stay at home’.
- Residents must not travel out of their area and will not be allowed any household mixing.
- All not-essential business must close; This includes indoor gyms and retail.
- Communal worship may still take place, but people are urged to not move out-of area.
- A two-week review will take place on Dec 30, PM says.
Professor Whitty, who joined Mr Johnson in the latest announcement, advises what a ‘small’ Christmas should be. ‘Keep it small, keep it short, keep it local, and remember the vulnerable are vulnerable”. Visiting a family member for a few hours, is arguably safer than spending a full day around the dinner table.
The promise of the Pfiver vaccine, remains significant. It is important not to undo the hardwork we have put in, some professionals have said. It is also advised to keep distanced from those particiularly vulnerable- a grandparent, for example- and act as if we are ‘infected’. This seems drastic, but the disease is often transmitted Asymptomatically.
Todays preceptious news has left many flattened and upset. Though, we must remind ourselves of the harshness we have lived throughout the year. The disease was not going to take its foot off the gas this Christmas and we must continue with ‘hands, face, space’. If you have been affected by any of today’s news, please see the below helplines.
For detailed information regarding Covid-19 see:
Written by: Heather Davey