All you need to know about Tier 4 rules

Shoppers making the most of the weekends before Christmas.

Shoppers making the most of the weekends before Christmas. - Credit: Archant

With Norfolk set to go into Tier 4 from Boxing Day, here is everything you need to know about the restrictions.

Can you summarise Tier 4 guidelines?

The main message for Tier 4 is 'stay at home'.

The government guidelines say: "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 shopping for essential items, work and care duties.

Can I meet up with other people?

In general, you must not meet socially or carry out any activities with another person.

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However, you can exercise or meet in a public outdoor place with people you live with, your support bubble (or as part of a childcare bubble), or with one other person.

You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble.

Will shops be closed?

All non-essential retail stores, such as clothing and homeware stores, must be shut.

What about pubs?

Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs must close.

However, they can provide food and drink for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery.

Will gyms be open?

Leisure and sports facilities, such as leisure centres and indoor gyms, indoor swimming pools and indoor sports courts, must close.

Does this apply to entertainment venues like cinemas?

Entertainment venues including theatres, cinemas, museums and zoos are not allowed to open.

Can I go to the hairdressers or salons?

Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons must shut.

Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close.

What businesses can stay open?


  • Essential shops
  • Market stalls selling essential items
  • Businesses providing repair
  • Petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • Banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • Funeral directors
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Medical and dental services
  • Vets and pet shops
  • Animal rescue centres, boarding facilities, and animal groomers 
  • Agricultural supplies shops
  • Mobility and disability support shops
  • Storage and distribution facilities
  • Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
  • Outdoor playgrounds
  • Outdoor gym, pools, sports courts and facilities
  • Golf courses
  • Archery/driving/shooting ranges (outdoors)
  • Outdoor riding centres
  • Places of worship
  • Crematoriums and burial grounds

What are the rules around exercising outdoors?

You can have unlimited exercise outdoors alone, with your household, support bubble or one other person if you maintain social distancing.

You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble.

Can I travel outside of Tier 4?

You must stay at home and not leave your Tier 4 area, other than to:

  • travel to work where you cannot work from home
  • travel to education and for caring responsibilities
  • visit or stay overnight with people in your support bubble, or your childcare bubble for childcare purposes
  • attend hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
  • to provide emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm (such as domestic abuse)

Should my children go to school?

Schools and colleges will remain open.

The government has confirmed that all secondary schools and colleges in England will be offered help, support and facilities to implement an additional round of free coronavirus testing from the first week of January.

This will be alongside a staggered return to face-to-face education in secondary schools, starting with exam years, vulnerable children and children of critical workers.

Can I go to a wedding, civil partnership, religious services and funerals?

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals are allowed with strict limits on attendance, and must only take place in Covid-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.

  • Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people
  • Linked religious, belief-based or commemorative events, such as stone settings and ash scatterings can be attended by up to 6 people
  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place with up to six people

You can attend places of worship for a service.

However, you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. You should maintain strict social distancing at all times.

Can I move home?

You can still move home. Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work. 

People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.



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