what is tier 5
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What is tier 5? UK at risk of moving into even tougher lockdown in the New Year

There's a tier review later this week

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.

They say the tier 4 restrictions just aren’t enough.

Although no official name for the proposals have been announced, they are being dubbed “tier 5”.

boris johnson at downing street
Could Boris Johnson be about to introduce a new tier 5? (Credit: Splash News)

What have scientists said to Boris Johnson?

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.

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Instead, they are said to have made a number of new recommendations.

It comes amid reports that the R rate would surge above one in January.

a closed pub in lockdown
Pubs would be closed if the UK entered a third ‘tier 5’ lockdown (Credit: Splash News)

What is tier 5?

The so-called tier 5 measures would see secondary schools closed.

Pubs and non-essential shops would also remain shut.

SAGE reportedly said that the R number could be kept below one if all schools remain closed in January.

Read more: Much of Britain set for snow, meteorologists warn

However, Michael Gove has said the government isn’t happy to take that step.

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.

“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.

Other secondary school students would then return the following week.

woman homeschooling her child
SAGE want a return to homeschooling (Credit: Pexels)

Will there be a third lockdown?

The PM hasn’t ruled out the chance of a third lockdown.

Speaking on Christmas Eve, he said it would be “necessary” to implement “very tough restrictions” to stop the virus “running out of control in January”.

Who will move into tier 4 this week?

Later this week, more areas are expected to move into tier 4.

The government are expected to make the announcement on Wednesday (December 30).

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.

London, the South East and the East are currently in tier 4.

And there are currently 24 tier 2 and 3 areas with infection rates of more than 300 per 100,000 people – and it’s these places that could move into tier 4.

Eden in Cumbria, Carlisle, Burnley, Wolverhampton, Hartlepool, Pendle, Birmingham, Lincoln, Rugby and Northampton are all among the places expected to move up due to rising COVID-19 levels.

Currently, the highest rates per 100,000 people are being found in Brentwood, Epping Forest and Thurruck in Essex.

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