The U.K. has been in and out of lockdowns since the pandemic started earlier this year. As a result of a surge in cases and concern regarding a new strain of coronavirus, many parts of England has gone into tier 4 restrictions. 

So what exactly does tier 4 mean for areas of England affected? All non-essential businesses and hair salons, entertainment venues and leisure venues have to close. Residents are being urged to stay at home and only leave your house if you need to travel for childcare or education. Essential workers will also be permitted to travel for work. 

Groups of people cannot gather, but you can meet up with one other person outside in a public area. Residents are not allowed to stay overnight outside of their homes and are not able to travel abroad. 

Currently, London, the south-east and east of England are in tier 4. Residents who live in areas under lesser tiers are still urged to stay home. 

According to the health secretary, Matt Hancock, these tier restrictions will last for months or until the COVID-19 vaccine is distributed across the U.K. 

The measures will be reviewed again on December 30th.