London goes into Tier 4 restrictions as COVID-19 infection rate rises rapidly across the capital

On Saturday the Government announced that London and large parts of the South East of England have entered a new tier of tougher restrictions, Tier 4 alert level – Stay At Home.

This decision was made following a marked rise in infections attributed to the rapid spread of a new variant of COVID-19. The restrictions came into effect yesterday (Sunday 20 December 2020). There is NO current evidence to suggest that the new strain is more deadly, or that  the current vaccines and treatments will not work, or that COVID-19 testing will not detect cases.

Although London is now in Tier 4, your local NHS and GP services in south east London are still open – find more information here.

Tier 4 restrictions include:

  • People should not enter or leave Tier 4 areas and Tier 4 residents must not stay overnight away from home.
  • Work from home if you can.
  • Non-essential retail, indoor leisure (such as swimming pools and gyms), indoor entertainment (such as cinemas, bowling alleys and casinos), and personal care sectors (such as nail bars, barbers and hairdressers) must all close.
  • Tighter social contact restrictions will also be introduced, meaning only one person can meet with one other person in an outside public space. Rules on support bubbles and childcare bubbles will remain as currently stated, and communal worship can continue to take place but should continue to follow the latest guidance.
  • Those who are medially extremely vulnerable, which includes people with certain types of cancer, people on immunosuppression therapy, and people with severe respiratory conditions, shouldn’t go to work and should limit time outside the home, and take exercise outside at less busy times. More information for people in this category here.
  • Given the risk the new variant poses, the previous Christmas bubble policy will no longer apply in Tier 4.

For more information on Tier 4, visit the GOV.UK website.