Portsmouth in tier four: Full list of rules for Christmas rules for Portsmouth, Gosport, Havant, Southampton, Winchester, Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Fareham, Rushmoor, Test Valley, Hart, East Hampshire, New Forest and Tier One Isle of Wight

The government has announced changes to the planned relaxations of coronavirus rules over Christmas.

Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 3:52 pm
The Christmas coronavirus rules have changed. Picture: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Last month the Prime Minister made an announcement that families would be able to form three household bubbles for five days between December 23 and December 27.

However on Saturday, Boris Johnson made drastic changes to these rules as well as announcing new tier four restrictions.

Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant have been put in the new strictest tier, which basically returns them to a state of lockdown.

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The majority of Hampshire, excluding New Forest and Isle of Wight, will be moved to tier four from 12.01am on Boxing Day.

However the strictest rules will not apply for Southampton, Winchester, Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Fareham, Rushmoor, Test Valley, Hart and East Hampshire on Christmas Day.

Here is what you need to know:

What are the Christmas rules in Tier Four areas?

If you live in a tier four area, you must follow the rules in your tier over the Christmas period.

This means that you cannot meet other people indoors, unless you ordinarily live with them, or they are part of your existing support bubble. Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household.

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Residents in tier four areas also must not travel out of the area.

What are the Christmas rules for Tier Two and Tier One?

On the government website it says: ‘Christmas bubbles, support bubbles and childcare bubbles are all different things and have their own specific rules.

‘The rules on Christmas bubbles will be put into law. Once in force, you must follow the rules to minimise the spread of infection.

‘You can only form a Christmas bubble if you do not live in a Tier 4 area. If you are permitted to form a Christmas bubble and choose to do so:

- keep your Christmas bubble as small as possible. Two other households is a maximum, not a target

- do not join a Christmas bubble with anyone from a Tier 4 area

- stop all unnecessary social contact outside your immediate household as soon as possible and for at least five days before you meet other households in your bubble

- only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces

- only see your bubble on Christmas Day. Do not stay overnight and keep your visits as short as possible

- stay local where possible. Avoid travelling from a high prevalence to a low prevalence area

- only meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier you live in (unless coming from a lower to a higher tier) and do not meet socially with friends and family that you do not live with in your home or garden unless they are part of your Christmas bubble

The advice on the government website continues:

‘When seeing your Christmas bubble, you should keep taking steps to reduce the spread of the virus. This includes meeting outdoors where possible, ensuring indoor spaces get as much fresh air as possible, making space between members of different households wherever you can, washing your hands regularly and for 20 seconds, and following rules on self-isolation if you develop symptoms or test positive for coronavirus.

‘You must not visit another household if you, or anyone in your household, is feeling unwell or self-isolating. You should get a free NHS test if you have symptoms, have been asked to by your local council or your hospital, or are taking part in a government pilot project.’

If you are over 70 or clinically extremely vulnerable

The advice reads: ‘It is particularly important to think about the greater risks to more vulnerable people whilst recognising how hard it can be to maintain good physical and mental health without essential contact with family and friends.

‘If you are over 70 or clinically extremely vulnerable think carefully about the risks. The safest approach may be not to form a Christmas bubble

‘If you are permitted to form a Christmas bubble and choose to do so, be especially careful to observe the guidance:

- meet outdoors where possible

- wash your hands regularly

- keep a distance from those you do not live with

- if you meet indoors, ensure good ventilation by letting in fresh air

If you are in an existing household or support bubble with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, the safest approach would be not to join a wider Christmas bubble to help reduce the risks to their health.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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