Tier 4 rules in full for Sussex: Here’s what you can and can’t do
The whole of Sussex was placed under tougher Tier 4 Covid-19 restrictions today (Saturday, December 26) following a rise in Covid-19 cases. Here is what those rules means for you.
The decision was made by the Government on Wednesday due to concerns over a new variant of the virus, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson said may be ‘up to 70 per cent more transmissible’ than the original strain.
Hastings and Rother were placed into Tier 4 last Sunday (December 20) before the rest of the county was added to the stricter guidelines today.
The new rules mean people living anywhere in Sussex must not leave or be outside of their home except for where they have a specific purpose, or a ‘reasonable excuse’.
The Government said a reasonable excuse includes work and volunteering, where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home including if your job involves working in other people’s homes.
People can also leave their home to buy things at essential shops which are permitted to open, but they should stay local.
People can leave home to buy food or medicine, or to collect any items, including food or drink, ordered through click-and-collect or as a takeaway, to obtain or deposit money or to access critical public services.
People may also leave home to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property.
Residents can leave home for education or training, registered childcare and supervised activities for children that are necessary to allow parents/carers to work, seek work, undertake education or training, or attend a medical appointment, the Government said.
Parents can still take their children to school, and people can continue existing arrangements for contact between parents and children where they live apart. This includes childcare bubbles.
People can leave home to visit people in their support bubble, or to provide informal childcare for children aged 13 and under as part of a childcare bubble, to provide care for vulnerable people, to provide emergency assistance, attend a support group (of up to 15 people), or for respite care where that care is being provided to a vulnerable person or a person with a disability, or is a short break in respect of a looked after child, the Government said.
Residents can also exercise outdoors or visit some public outdoor places, such as parks, the countryside, public gardens or outdoor sports facilities and can do unlimited exercise alone, or in a public outdoor place with their household, support bubble, or one other person.
This should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your Tier 4 area to do so if necessary, the Government said.
People can leave home for any medical reason, including to get a Covid-19 test, for medical appointments and emergencies, to be with someone who is giving birth, to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm, such as domestic abuse, or for animal welfare reasons.
People can also leave home to visit someone who is dying or someone in a care home if permitted under care home guidance, hospice, or hospital, or to accompany them to a medical appointment, the Government said.
Residents can also leave home to attend a place of worship for communal worship, a funeral or a related event for someone who has died, or to visit a burial ground or a remembrance garden, or to attend a wedding.
People should minimise their time spent outside home.
People must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of their household or support bubble.
You cannot meet people in a private garden, unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them.
People must wear a face covering in many indoor settings, such as shops or places of worship where these remain open, and on public transport, unless you are exempt.
If you break the rules the police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups.
This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines.
The Government said you can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of more than 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.
People should not leave a Tier 4 area, the Government said, other than for legally permitted reasons such as travelling to work where they cannot work from home, travelling to education and for caring responsibilities, visiting those in their support bubble, attending hospital, GP and other medical appointments.
In Tier 4 you cannot leave home for holidays or stays overnight away from your main home unless permitted by law, the Government said.
This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed.
The Government said 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.
People are allowed to stay overnight away from their home if they are unable to return to their main home, 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, or are homeless, seeking asylum or a vulnerable person seeking refuge.
The Government said in Tier 4 hotels, B&Bs and caravan parks may remain open for the specific reasons set out in law, including where guests are unable to return to their main home, use that accommodation as their main residence, need accommodation while moving house, are self-isolating as required by law, or would otherwise be made homeless as a result of the accommodation closing.
Under Tier 4 non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods, have to close.
But they can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect and delivery services.
Cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs have to close, with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway until 11pm, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery.
Hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, have to close except for specific circumstances.
Other places that must close include leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and indoor gyms, indoor swimming pools, indoor tennis and basketball courts, indoor fitness and dance studios, 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.
Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open.
Hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close under Tier 4, the Government said.
It is also prohibited to provide these services in other people’s homes.
Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services and for click-and-collect services.
Businesses which can remain open include essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres and Christmas tree retailers, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences.
Businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services, as well petrol stations, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses, banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses, funeral directors, launderettes and dry cleaners, medical and dental services, vets and pet shops, animal rescue centres, boarding facilities, and animal groomers, agricultural supplies shops, mobility and disability support shops, storage and distribution facilities, car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas, outdoor playgrounds, outdoor gym, pools, sports courts and facilities, golf courses, outdoor archery/driving/shooting ranges, and outdoor riding centres.
Public services remain open in Tier 4, such as the NHS and medical services like GPs and dentists, Jobcentre Plus sites, courts and probation services, civil registrations offices, passport and visa services, services provided to victims and waste or recycling centres.
The Government said people who work in ‘critical national infrastructure’, construction, or manufacturing should continue to travel to their workplace.
Public sector employees working in essential services, including childcare or education, should continue to go into work.
Schools and colleges will remain open during term time in Tier 4 areas.
Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people.
The Government said ‘linked religious, belief-based or commemorative events, such as stone settings and ash scatterings’ can also continue with up to six people in attendance.
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 or due to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery, the Government said.
These weddings are limited to six people.