28 December 2020 16:45
The UK is at risk of another lockdown, but what is tier 5 and what would the restrictions look like? Scientists at SAGE are said to have told the government harsher measures are needed to stop the spread of coronavirus. Could Boris Johnson be about to introduce a new tier 5? SAGE has told Boris Johnson that a repeat of the November measures where schools remained open won't be enough to flatten the new curve. Pubs would be closed if the UK entered a third 'tier 5' lockdown (Credit: Splash News) The so-called tier 5 measures would see secondary schools closed.
SAGE reportedly said that the R number could be kept below one if all schools remain closed in January. "As a country we have decided – and I think this is the right thing to do – that we prioritise children returning to school," he said. It is our intention to make sure we can get children back to school as early as possible, but we all know that there are trade-offs At the moment, the plan is for primary school pupils, GCSE and A-level students and children of key workers to return to school next week. New data shows that 24 places are in danger of going up a tier. And Michael Gove hasn't ruled out putting the whole of England into the current highest tier.
They've recommended a complete closure of schools, pubs and non-essential shops in a repeat of the initial March lockdown. Today it has been reported by the Sun that a tougher Tier 5 level of lockdown measures could be brought in to stop the spread. Lancashire is currently in Tier 3 restrictions with concerns that some areas could be moved into Tier 4 at the next lockdown review on Wednesday. A senior Whitehall source warned the Government could add "another level onto Tier 4, so like a Tier 5", telling the Express: "We are ruling nothing out, the new strain is of serious concern. Boris Johnson has not ruled out the possibility of a third national lockdown, which may feature as part of Tier 5.
Current Tier 4 rules mean non essential shops must close, along with pubs, bars and restaurants that cannot operate as takeaways. So if Tier 5 was to be implemented, it would require even stricter rules - perhaps the same as the first lockdown back in March. Under the first lockdown, schools were shut and children were forced to learn from their homes - either with help from the parents or through e-learning. If Tier 5 was to be implemented, it may mean the closure of schools - though Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove today insisted that the "we prioritise children returning to school" over reducing the infection levels. As yet, there is no indication as to whether a tier 5 approach or third national lockdown will be implemented. JUST under half the population are under the strictest 'tier' restrictions to stop the spread of Covid-19 and all its strains in the UK. If another tier was to be added, here's what some people think it might look like. ⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates 3 43% of the UK are currently under tier 4 lockdown However, a senior Whitehall source told the Express: "We are ruling nothing out, the new strain is of serious concern. Despite no confirmation, many are guessing that Tier 5 could mean a total ban from leaving the house for non-essential reasons. Some think a tougher restriction will see these shut - leaving only essential shops open like supermarkets and pharmacies. In the England's Tier 4, you can leave home for 'permitted reasons' like travelling to work or education. Politco has reported that health experts advised the Prime Minister to assert stronger measures, including closing secondary schools as well as pubs and non-essential shops. Six million more people moved into Tier 4 on Boxing Day, after those already under the tightest coronavirus restrictions celebrated a Covid Christmas. Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire moved into Tier 4, created in response to a "highly concerning" variant of Covid-19 discovered in the UK and a new contagious strain from South Africa. These are the areas that are currently under Tier 4 lockdown: READ MORE ON CORONAVIRUS LOCKED UP How long will Tier 4 lockdown last? Live Blog JAB JOY Doctors warn of 'warzone' hospitals as 10,000 volunteers drafted to deliver jab TIERS FEARS Covid hotspots most at risk of Tier 4 lockdown as millions set for restrictions SKIS GOTTA BE JOKING Pence hit for breaking Covid rules for lavish Xmas ski vacation BIG CHANGE People moved to tears over landlord's heartwarming gesture on Christmas Day A new 'Tier 5' lockdown is being considered for England to tackle a steep rise in coronavirus cases. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been told by scientists to introduce stricter measures after a dramatic rise in the number of people testing positive for Covid-19. The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has reportedly said a tougher lockdown should be imposed - including the closure of secondary schools - in January, according to Politico. They apparently suggested a lockdown similar to the one in November would not be enough to control the rapid spread of the new strain of coronavirus. Instead they have suggested closing secondary schools, pubs and non-essential shops. The Sun reports that measures being considered are similar to the March lockdown. Cabinet minister Michael Gove refused to rule out tougher measures being introduced on Monday, including the whole of England going into Tier 4. He told BBC Breakfast: "We review which tiers parts of the country should be in on the basis of scientific evidence. He said reopening schools would involve "trade-offs" with other coronavirus restrictions. Under current plans, secondary schools will only open to exam year children, the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils next week. Mr Gove said: "It is our intention to make sure we can get children back to school as early as possible. "As a country we have decided – and I think this is the right thing to do – that we prioritise children returning to school. "But we have a new strain and it is also the case that we have also had, albeit in a very limited way, Christmas mixing, so we do have to remain vigilant. The infection rate per 100,000 people in England now stands at 392.4 after the sharp rise, which is particularly concentrated in London and the South East. The worst affected area - with an infection rate of 1,442.5 - is Brentwood in Essex, where more than 1,100 people have tested positive in seven days. Even stricter measures could be introduced in the UK as coronavirus cases continue to rise, it has been reported. Massive swaths of England are already in Tier 4, meaning that shops have been forced to close in London and parts of the South East. The North East currently remains in Tier 3. A new variant of the virus means that cases are spreading even faster than before with huge spikes in cases in the past month, reports Birmingham Live. Meanwhile, Scotland and Wales have been put into a national lockdown and banned travel from and to the UK because of the new strain. But it has been reported by the Sun that a tougher "Tier 5" measure could be brought in to stop the spread. Government scientists have reportedly told Boris Johnson he needs to implement stricter measures to stop the virus from spiralling out of control. The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has told the Prime Minister that because of the new faster-spreading variant of the virus, the R-rate would surge above 1 in January. Experts have told Boris that a New Year national lockdown similar to the one in November where schools remain open will not be enough. They recommend even stronger measures where secondary schools are shut and pubs and non-essential shops remain closed. Sage has reportedly advised that the R-rate could be kept below 1 if all schools remained closed in January.