BRITS living under the new Tier 4 restrictions will only be allowed to meet ONE person outside their household from midnight tonight.
Boris Johnson burst the Christmas bubble for millions tonight as he plunged millions of people into the draconian new measures.
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The new rules, which come into effect from midnight, mean people in Tier 4 can meet just one person from outside their household in an outdoor public space.
And they should not leave the area or stay away from home.
It comes as…
- Boris Johnson today cancelled Christmas for millions as he put London, the South East and East in Tier 4 lockdown
- The new variant strain of the virus which causes Covid-19 may be up to 70% more transmissible – and could increase the R value by 0.4
- All Brits have been told to stay local during the festive season
- Christmas bubbles in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 have been cut to just 24 hours on December 25
- Non-essential shops and gyms in Tier 4 areas must be closed from midnight
- Those in Tier 4 will be able to meet only one other person outdoors – but must not stay overnight from home
Exemptions will continue for support bubbles and childcare bubbles.
It comes as a mutant strain of the virus ripped through London, the South East and East, which is 70 per cent more transmissible.
Around 20 million Brits will now not be able to see their families this Christmas.
And anyone in the lower Tiers should only see people outside their household for 24 hours – rather than the five days announced last month.
The areas in the new Tier 4 from tonight at midnight
Surrey (excluding Waverley)
The boroughs of Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings
All 32 London boroughs and the city of London.
Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough
Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring).
Addressing the nation in a No10 briefing tonight, Boris said: "We must act now.
"We willintroduce new restrictions in the most affected areas – specifically the South East, London and the East currently in Tier 3.
"Tier 4 [is] broadly equivalent to the national restrictions.
"Work from home if you can, do not enter or leave Tier 4 and do not stay away from home. You can meet just one person from outside your household."
Under the previous Tier 3 rules, people could meet friends and family outside their household in a group of up to six in some outdoor spaces – including parks and public gardens.
Brits living in Tier 4 can only leave their homes to exercise – travelling only for education, emergencies or to access childcare.
International travel is also not advised.
The PM had insisted just five days ago that Christmas will still go ahead for families – and said it would be "inhuman" to cancel it.
His latest U-turn will be done via emergency laws – and won't be voted on in Parliament.
Boris said: "We are sacrificing the chance to see our loved ones this Christmas so we have a better chance of protecting their lives so that we can see them at future Christmases”.
The new strain of Covid can spread more rapidly and has been blamed for a sudden surge in hospitalisations.
And there are fears people are catching the virus despite wearing PPE and socially distancing.
The PM said he "bitterly regretted" the changes to the Christmas arrangements.
He added: "The briefing that I had yesterday about this mutation of the virus, particularly about the speed of transmission, was not possible to ignore."
Swathes of the country will now be plunged into Tier 4 from 12.01am on Sunday.
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