Tier 4 lockdown: What does the new restrictions mean for travel?

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced tonight that sweeping new travel restrictions will come in from the morning of 20 December.

The restrictions, in response to a new, more contagious mutation of coronavirus, will apply to the areas of London, south east and east of England that are currently in tier 3.

The areas will be designated as tier 4 from Sunday, with residents expected to stay at home except for limited exemptions set out by law, for example going to work if it is not possible to work from home.

The Prime Minister said that the restrictions will be similar to those introduced during the second lockdown, which ended on 2 December.

Here’s what you need to know about how it affects travel.

Can you travel in or out of a tier 4 area?

People should not enter or leave a tier 4 area, Mr Johnson said.

And those who live in tier 4 will not be permitted to stay overnight in other areas under the new restrictions.

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Can I still travel abroad in tier 4?

Leisure travel abroad is banned for anyone living in tier 4.

However, travel for other permitted reasons, such as for work, is still allowed.

How long will tier 4 restrictions last?

Tier 4 restrictions are expected to be reviewed on 30 December. However, Mr Johnson said that the restrictions will only change when the science indicates that it’s safe to do so.

Can those in other tiers still travel abroad?

The government has set out additional guidance for other tiers as well, advising everyone to stay local where possible. 

While international travel is not banned for those in other tiers as it has been in tier 4, people are expected to consider whether their travel is essential right now.

What about Christmas bubbles?

People in tier 4 will not be allowed to mix for Christmas. However, an exception is made for support bubbles for those who are at particular risk of loneliness.

For those living in other tiers, the Christmas bubble will only apply on Christmas Day, not the five days as previously announced.

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