Factbox: UK orders London and nearby areas to follow tough new COVID rules

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in London

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced tough new restrictions and social distancing measures for London and nearby areas on Saturday in an attempt to slow the spread of a new, highly transmissible variant of the coronavirus.

Following is a summary of the new restrictions.

NEW TIER 4

- London and parts of the south east and east of England currently in the highest Tier 3 category will enter a new Tier 4 level of restrictions, roughly equivalent to England's lockdown in November.

- Residents in Tier 4 areas must stay at home, apart from limited exemptions.

- Non-essential retail, indoor gyms and leisure facilities, and personal care services must close.

- People must work from home if possible, but may travel to work if necessary, for example in construction and manufacturing.

- People should not enter or leave Tier 4 areas and residents must not stay overnight away from home.

- Individuals can only meet one person from another household in an outdoor public space.

- Communal worship can continue to take place.

- The measures will take effect from Sunday morning.

- A next formal review of the tiers system is due to take place on Dec. 30.

TRAVEL

- The government has asked people across the United Kingdom to stay local and consider whether they need to travel abroad.

- People in Tier 4 areas will not be permitted to travel abroad apart from limited exceptions, such as for work.

CHRISTMAS

- People in Tier 4 areas should not mix with anyone outside their own household, but "support bubbles" will remain in place for those at particular risk of loneliness or isolation.

- Across the rest of the UK, rules allowing up to three households to meet will be limited to Christmas Day only, rather than the five days previously set out.

- There will be no relaxation on Dec 31, as previously announced.

(Writing by William Schomberg; editing by Michael Holden)