New ‘level 4’ restrictions could force shops and restaurants to close in worst affected areas


Alternative plans could see a tighter level of restriction added, if the current system did not make a difference by mid-November.Whitehall officials and local authorities are said to be considering alternative plans to the current three-tier system in England.

The Mirror reports that a potential Plan B could include a “Tier 3-plus” or “Tier 4”, with measures closer to those we experienced during the full lockdown.

While nothing has been officially announced and the measures are reportedly still under discussion, iNews reports that they could include the closure of restaurants and non-essential stores such as clothing stores.

The publication also reported that other options being discussed include the possibility of short-term locking out of local circuit breakers in an effort to bring the R-rate – the rate at which the virus is transmitted – below one.

Since October 12, England has been operating under a three tier system of local restrictions which divides areas into different categories, labeled as medium, also known as level one, high, also known as level two, or very high risk, which is referenced at level three.

The Northeast is currently at level 2. However, despite the decline in infections in most of the region, discussions are underway to place it at level 3.

In the Northeast, there are restrictions on domestic mixing indoors while the rule of six continues to apply outdoors.

Redesigned Gray Street in Newcastle city center.

People should not socialize with their friends and family indoors in any place unless they live with them or have formed a supportive bubble with them.

Areas classified as medium risk, those in Tier 1, are subject to the same national measures that were common across England earlier this year.

These include the 10 p.m. curfew for pubs and restaurants and a ban on most gatherings of more than six people.

People living in level 3 areas such as Manchester and Liverpool are not recommended to stay overnight in other parts of the UK and should avoid traveling as much as possible in and out of the area, unless it is for work, education or family responsibilities.

In these areas, social mix is ​​prohibited both indoors and in private gardens, while pubs and bars must close unless they can function as a restaurant.

The rule of six applies in some outdoor environments such as parks, public gardens, and sports fields.

It comes as this week Nicola Sturgeon unveiled a new five-level lockdown system to tackle Covid-19 in Scotland.

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon has set up a five-tier system in the country (Photo by Andy Buchanan / WPA Pool / Getty Images)

The prime minister said the levels, dropping from 0 to 4, would avoid a “one size fits all” approach to areas of the country with lower infection rates.

Level four, the top tier, is closer to a full lockdown, Ms Sturgeon said, with non-essential stores forced to close and bans on indoor dating.

According to official data, the UK has reported 174 more coronavirus deaths and 23,012 more cases in the last 24-hour period.

The total number of infections in the country is 854,010, while the total number of deaths is 44,745.


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