Updated: Jan 4
In a sobering set of announcements on Saturday, new tier 4 restrictions banned all household mixing from Sunday 20th December in London, the South East, and the East of England, whilst the break in Covid restrictions will now only apply to Christmas Day in England, Scotland and Wales.
The emergence of a new strain of Covid19, which is spreading up to 70% more easily then the initial strain, forced Saturday's co-ordinated announcements in Cardiff and Edinburgh, after the PM's earlier statement in Downing Street.
Wales will move to it's own Level Four alert too at midnight, but unlike in England's Tier 4, separate families in the principality can meet on Christmas Day.
The mainland of Scotland will move into a three-week national lockdown on Boxing Day and non-essential cross border travel to and from England over the festive period, will not be allowed.
The Christmas break in Covid restrictions, which was to apply from 23rd to 27th December for Tier 1-3 areas has been cancelled and replaced with a stay local message, and the Xmas restrictions break will only now apply on Christmas Day throughout England in Tiers 1-3, and separately in Scotland and Wales for 24 hours.
Everyone in any tier in England should stay local and all are advised not to travel into Tier 4 areas.
The following areas will move from Tier 3 to Tier 4:-
Kent, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey (excluding Waverley), Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings
London (all 32 boroughs and the City of London);
East of England (Bedford, Central Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Essex excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring).
Tier 4 restrictions in England
In Tier 4 no-one should not mix with those outside their households, or bubble.
· Non-essential shops and personal care must close
Leisure facilities and gyms must close
Residents must stay at home
Work from home if you can
Social mixing limited to one person in an open public space
No overseas travel
The restrictions in England will last for two weeks, with the first review due on 30 December.