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Falling just short of a national lockdown, Tier 4

restrictions aim to limit the amount of contact between

people to stop the spread of the virus.

People are being told to stay at home, unless for valid

reasons including work or education.

We also have to limit the amount of social contact with

family and friends.

What does tier 4 mean?

Under tier 4 restrictions, non-essential shops,

hairdressers, and leisure and entertainment venues

must close, with a new “stay at home” message


People who need to travel for education or childcare

are exempt, and exercise is unlimited. Where people

cannot work from home, they will still be able to travel

to work.

Under the measures, households are not allowed to

mix, but one person is allowed to meet with one other

person outside in a public space. Support bubbles and

those meeting for childcare are exempt.

Those who are deemed clinically extremely vulnerable

should not go to work and should limit time outside of

their homes.

Tier 4 residents must not stay overnight away from home, and cannot travel abroad.

What can I do in each tier?

People in all tiers are advised to stay local, and if you travel, your restrictions follow you. For example, if you live in a tier 3 area, you must continue to follow tier 3 rules even when you travel to a tier 1 or tier 2 area.

Summary of the rules:

  • Residents must stay home except for essential journeys
  • All non-essential shops and close contact businesses including hairdressers and gyms will close
  • People should work from home if they can
  • No mixing of households indoors
  • No overnight stays outside your household or support bubble
  • You are allowed to meet one other person outdoors

In all tiers, you:

  • must wear a face covering in most indoor public settings, unless you have an exemption
  • should follow the rules on meeting others safely
  • should attend school or college as normal, unless you are self-isolating
  • should walk or cycle where possible, plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes when travelling
  • must follow the gathering limits for your tier, except for specific exemptions detailed on GOV.UK

Support bubbles

In Tier 4, people in a support bubble are still allowed to meet.

Support bubbles were introduced previously to try and reduce loneliness and support single people.

They involve the mixing of two separate households.

Even in Tier 4, people in the same bubble can socialise in each others homes without social distancing.

But people are only allowed to be in a support bubble with one other household.

Support bubbles can be changed, but the previous support bubble have to be treated as a separate household for 10 days before the change.

There are also separate childcare bubbles, which people are allowed to have in addition to a support bubble.

This is again the linking of two households, to provide 'informal' care to a child under the age of 14.

Informal meaning care that is not being paid for.

Rules state that people must avoid seeing members of their support bubble and childcare bubble at the same time.

If you can cope with the cold weather, people are allowed to meet one other person not in their support bubble in a public outdoor place, such as a park.

The advice is to remain two metres away from those not in their support bubble.

It is not permitted for people to meet in private gardens with people not in their support bubble.

There are a limited number of circumstances when people can still meet in larger groups.

These include for work, education, to fulfil a legal obligation such as jury service, to facilitate moving house or to visit someone who is dying.

Funerals can still take place, with a maximum of 30 people able to attend.

A maximum of six people are allowed to attend weddings.

This is a summary of the tier 4 guidance.  For more information visit: