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What Tier 6 lockdown rules might be if UK restrictions made even stricter – Hull Live

https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/what-tier-6-lockdown-rules-4881930

A “Tier 6” lockdown could be on the way as pressure increases on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to strengthen coronavirus restrictions even further amid soaring case rates.

The Prime Minister announced the start of the latest national lockdown on Monday, January 4 – an attempt to quash soaring coronavirus cases which have been spiralling out of control.

But since then the daily figures have continued to produce disturbingly high numbers of new cases and – tragically – deaths.

On Tuesday, the Government announced that there had been another 45,533 cases confirmed in the past 24 hours, while there was also a further 1,243 deaths – the second highest daily death toll reported so far.

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In Hull, Thursday, January 7, has now been revealed as the city’s deadliest day of the pandemic so far with 13 deaths in a 24-hour period.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Home Secretary Priti Patel said police officers would be interpreting the lockdown rules more strictly after 45,000 people were revealed to have been issued fines for lockdown breaches.

People have also been encouraged to stay “local” while taking outdoor exercise – one of the few reasons people are allowed to leave home – but there is ongoing confusion about exactly what that means.

Two women were even fined for driving five miles for a socially-distanced walk at a nearby beauty spot, while the Government was forced to defend the PM for going on a bike ride seven miles from Downing Street.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol, during a visit to one of the seven mass vaccination centres now opened to the general public

Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol, during a visit to one of the seven mass vaccination centres now opened to the general public

What are the current rules?

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.

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.

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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?

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.

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.

Most of the country had been placed into Tier 4 before the lockdown began
(Image: PA)

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

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.

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There have also been reports that scientists have suggested the idea of increasing social distancing requirements to distances even greater than two metres.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has also called for the closing of nurseries to stop the virus spreading among young children.

Meanwhile, the Government has also not ruled out the possibility of removing support bubbles if case rates continue to increase.