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What Kent Tier 6 lockdown rules might look like under tighter restrictions – Kent Live

https://www.kentlive.news/news/kent-news/what-kent-tier-6-lockdown-4882395

A new tighter lockdown could be on the way for England if coronavirus infection rates do not start to curve off.

The ‘Tier 6’ lockdown would see current restrictions tightened in an attempt to bring down the alarmingly high number of cases and deaths.

Thus far, Kent has been in Tier 1, 3 and 4 of restrictions and is now under tight national restrictions with the government once again urging people to ‘Stay at home’

Yesterday, the UK reported more 45,000 cases with 1,243 deaths also recorded, the second highest daily death toll since the pandemic started.

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While infection rates are dropping in a number of areas in Kent, some districts continue to have some of the highest infection rates in England.

Dartford and Gravesham are currently the two worst affected areas in the county, with coronavirus infection rates around 1200 per 100,000 people.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the police would be interpreting the rules more strictly
(Image: REUTERS)

Priti Patel claimed a minority of people were ‘putting the public at risk’ in a press conference on Tuesday (January 12)

The Home Secretary also revealed the police would be interpreting the lockdown rules more strictly in the coming weeks.

What are the current rules

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Kent is currently under national lockdown rules with a ‘Stay at home’ order issued by the Prime Minister.

When the Prime Minister announced the new national lockdown on January 4, the UK moved to the country’s worst coronavirus alert level – Level 5. He said the rules would likely remain in place until mid-February.

The new rules dictated that all primary schools, secondary schools and colleges would close, except for children of key workers and vulnerable children, with remote working in place.

Schools across England have been told to close
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

University students will not be able to return to the classroom either, unless they are studying a critical course.

People were also told to work from home where possible, apart from key workers and those working in sectors like construction.

All non-essential shops, retail, hospitality and personal care services also shut, though restaurants have been able to continue offering delivery and takeaway services.

People are not allowed to meet people from outside your household or bubble anywhere – indoors or outdoors – but you can go for a walk with one person from another household.

Support and childcare bubbles were also allowed to remain in place under the new lockdown.

How might the rules be changed?

Facemasks may need to be worn in outdoor settings
(Image: PA)

Tighter restrictions are now being considered by Government ministers amid worries that they are not tough enough and that people are not following them closely enough, Hull Live have reported.

Under the Tier 4 restrictions that affected most of the country before the lockdown came into force, non-essential businesses were forced to close and households were not allowed to mix.

But only clinically extremely vulnerable were told not to go to work and to limit time outside of home, while exercise was unlimited and people travelling for education or childcare reasons were exempt from the “stay at home” message.

People feared that the introduction of a new “Tier 5” could see more businesses deemed “non-essential” and forced to close, while exercise might be limited and communal worship and foreign travel could be completely banned.

Those measures were introduced for the whole country under the new national lockdown, albeit without the label of a “Tier 5”.

Supermarkets have remained open throughout the pandemic
(Image: Adam Gerrard)

With the possibility of even tougher restrictions imminent, there are fears the new restrictions could be similar to a “Tier 6”.

That might include banning exercising with one other person from a different household, though Matt Hancock said on January 11 that people would still be able to do that. He emphasised the importance of social distancing and said groups were “not acceptable”.

There is also the possibility that the requirement to wear masks could be expanded to outdoor settings, such as in queues for supermarkets. Wales’s health minister has already called for mask wearing in public places.