What Tier 4 could mean for parents

Last updated: 11-01-2020

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What Tier 4 could mean for parents

We've just got our heads around Tiers 1, 2 and 3 to be honest, and now we're hearing that Tier 4 might be on its way ... plus the possibility of a Christmas lockdown. But what exactly is meant by Tier 4 and what will change for parents?

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If you're struggling to keep up with the coronavirus rules and regulations, you're not the only one.

With circuit-breaker lockdowns in Wales and Northern Ireland, increased restrictions in Scotland and lots more parts of England being put into Tier 2 – as well as France and Germany now going into a national lockdown – there has, understandably, been lots of debate about what will happen in England.

Talk of so-called Tier 4 restrictions has been rife, but what exactly will it mean?

In short, nobody seems to know! That hasn't stopped speculation mounting though, with 'anonymous' sources increasingly keen to talk to the press about what might happen.

It is thought that Tier 4 could signal the closure of non-essential businesses such as restaurants and gyms, but that schools would remain open. Mixing with other households, even while sticking to the rule of six, could also be banned.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today programme and said that localised measures are the way to go, but refused to rule Tier 4 out, saying that the Government is 'always ready' to introduce new restrictions when appropriate.

'We do think the situation is serious. Having said that, we're confident we've got the right measures and framework in place – not to have a blanket approach but to target measures on the areas where the uptick is the highest.

'We're always ready for further measures that we can take.'

Raab also appeared on Sky News, where he said the government was 'striving to avoid' a national lockdown as a more targeted approach is better.

'A short, sharp circuit breaker is frankly something of an enigma.'

Hear more of his interview in this clip.

Whether the further measures are called Tier 4 or a national circuit-breaker, with coronavirus cases and deaths continuing to rise it seems highly likely that something will happen before Christmas

If Tier 4 follows the pattern of second lockdowns elsewhere in the world, it's likely to be a little less strict than the first time around, the key difference being schools will remain open.

It is possible that support bubbles for single parents and childcare bubbles for working parents could also remain in place.

As for what all this might mean for Christmas, there is no way of knowing at the moment, which makes planning IMPOSSIBLE ... it seems wise to focus on activities with your own immediate family for now.

The number of experts calling for tougher measures seems to be rising.

Dr Mike Tildesley, also appearing on the BBC Radio 4 today programme, suggested the government needs to 'move away from regional firefighting technique' and a national approach is required.

'In a sense some kind of national lockdown, a circuit-breaker, or something along those lines, would actually have more effect in those parts of the country that have not yet progressed into Tier 2.'

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Do you think we'll see a national lockdown before Christmas? What will it mean for your family? Let us know on the chat thread below...

What parents need to know about childcare bubbles

CHAT: what would another lockdown mean for you?


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