What would Tier 5 restrictions be and is there going to be a Tier 5 lockdown?

What is Tier 5 and what would Tier 5 restrictions be? We look at what restrictions could be imposed on Covid-19 hot spots at 3pm today...

Tier 5, Level of lockdown restrictions to control spread of coronavirus infection during the pandemic, UK
(Image credit: Josie Elias / Alamy Stock Photo)

The tier system restrictions have been hanging over everyone's festive celebrations - with the threat that new 'Tier 5' restrictions could be placed on parts of England. But what would Tier 5 restrictions be - and are they likely to be part of the announcement at 3pm today? 

Now that Christmas has passed, Boris Johnson has called an emergency meeting to discuss moving regions into Tier 5 - which if approved - could see schools and non-essential shops close, and a big question mark over when hairdressers will re-open, as well as beauty salons and nail salons.

Is there going to be a Tier 5 lockdown and why are the government re-evaluating the current tier system?

It's been almost 14 days since tighter lockdown measures were introduced in the hope of reducing the level of Coronavirus infections.

And ahead of today's re-evaluation of the regional tiers, Mr Johnson is braced to chair a meeting at 6pm tonight, as Covid cases continue to rise. 

He is expected to discuss whether schools should remain closed for longer than the Christmas break in areas where Covid-19 rates are particularly high.

And it's claimed two thirds of England could go into Tier 4. As of 8am on Monday, there were a total of 20,426 Covid patients in hospitals in England, according to official figures.

And news of the emergency meeting comes after Professor Andrew Hayward, a member of the Government's New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), warned of stricter restrictions. 

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's programme, he said, "I think we are entering a very dangerous new phase of the pandemic and we're going to need decisive, early, national action to prevent a catastrophe in January and February.

"I think we're really looking at a situation where we're moving into near-lockdown, but we've got to learn the lessons from the first lockdown."

As the country waits to see whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to plunge parts of the England under tougher Covid-19 restrictions, we look at what tier 5 restrictions could mean, as a tougher measure to tier 4...

What could Tier 5 restrictions be? 

While Tier 5 restrictions have not been officially announced, the restrictions could be similar to the first national lockdown, which took place back in March. 

These new measures could include: 

  • Schools and universities could close, meaning students might have to go back to online learning. But Cabinet minister Michael Gove insisted, "we prioritise children returning to school" over reducing the infection levels.
  • Elderly and vulnerable people could be forced to "shield" again, like they did back in March.
  • Stricter limits on meeting others such as being unable to meet anyone from another household, either indoors or outside.
  • Limits placed on leaving home for certain reasons only,  like one hour exercise per day. Tier 5 restrictions could see similar restrictions return.
  • Travelling to holiday homes or second homes could be banned. 
  • Playgrounds could potentially close if Tier 5 restrictions are put in place.
Selina Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 15 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She has covered all things Entertainment for GoodtoKnow, Woman&Home and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand.