Three-Quarters of English Population to Be Under Tier 4 Restrictions

December 30, 2020 Updated: December 30, 2020

Three-quarters of England’s population will be put into tier four, and almost all of England will be in tiers three and four from Dec. 31, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Parliament on Dec. 30.

According to the list published on the government’s website on Wednesday, the Isles of Scilly, with a population of over 2,000, will remain in tier one, while the rest of England will be in tiers three and four.

All local authorities currently in tier three, with the exception of Bristol, North Somerset, and Yorkshire (except the City of York and North Yorkshire) and The Humber, will be under tier four restrictions.

Cumbria, as well as Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole will move into tier four from tier two.

The rest of the local authority areas currently in tier two will move into tier three from Thursday.

According to the  Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the decision on tiers allocation are primarily based on case detection rates in all age groups, case detection rates in the over-60s, the rate at which cases are rising or falling, positivity rate, and pressure on local health services.

Under tier four restrictions, residents are told to stay at home unless they have a “reasonable excuse” to leave their houses. Rule breakers will face a fine from £200 ($272) for the first offence, and double the amount for further offences to up to £6,400 ($8,713).

All clinically extremely vulnerable individuals who live in tier four areas will be sent a letter or email that asks them to shield, the DHSC said in a statement.

Under tier three restrictions, people can not meet anyone outside of their household indoor or in private gardens, but up to six people can meet in some outdoor public places.

Hancock said the revision of tier allocation is due to the new variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

The DHSC said the weekly case rate in England jumped up by 32 percent in the week between Dec. 18 and Dec. 24, and hospital admissions increased by 18 percent in the past week, with 14,915 CCP virus patients admitted during the week.

“Evidence shows the new strain of COVID-19 is increasing in the South West, Midlands, and parts of the North West,” the DHSC said.

“The majority of the cases identified in London, the South East and the East of England are of the new variant.”

The DHSC said the infection rates in these areas have increased faster than expected.