The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, announced today (23 December 2020) that Norfolk will move into Tier 4 of the COVID restrictions in England at 00:01 on Boxing Day (26 December 2020).
The Government website states: “If you live in Tier 4 you must not leave or be outside of your home or garden except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. A reasonable excuse includes[;] work and volunteering, essential activities, fulfilling legal obligations, education and childcare, exercise and recreation, medical reasons, communal worship”
For a full list of restrictions and exemptions, visit the Gov.Uk website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home
In a tweet earlier in the week, Michelle Donelan, Minister of State for Universities wrote to students to reassure them that “any student can travel home once during the period 3 December 2020 and 7 February 2021 … This remains the case for those who may be preparing to travel from or to a Tier 4 area.”
At this time the government advice for students returning to campuses for the spring semester remains the same, should be staggered across five weeks, with students requiring placements and lab-based or practical learning to return first. All students should be offered testing upon their return and students should not be encouraged to return until face-to-face teaching resumes.
Under Tier 4, mixing with groups outside of your household is still permitted “as part of your formal education or training.” Meaning face-to-face teaching is permitted, providing it is COVID secure.
In relation to sport and physical activity, indoor gyms and sports facilities will close, outdoor sports facilities such as; sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, riding centres and can remain open for individual exercise, and for people to use with others within your household, support bubble, or with one person from another household.
Moving home is still permitted, however you should only utilise help from people within your household and support bubble.
The announcement also included the news that there is a third variant of the disease which has been dectected in South Africa and in 2 people who have recently arrived in the UK from South Africa, Hancock announced that anyone arriving or who have recently arrived from South Africa, must self-isolate for 14 days. Hancock also confirmed that the Phizer vaccine has successfully started to roll out into care homes and the Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine has been submitted to the MHRA for approval.