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On Saturday 19 December 2020, the Prime Minister addressed the nation and advised that London and the South East would enter Tier Four restrictions following scientific research concerning the COVID-19 variation that was discovered a week earlier.

The Tier Four restrictions affect the 32 London boroughs; Buckinghamshire; Berkshire; Kent; Surrey (excluding Waverley); Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings; Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough; Hertfordshire; and Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring).

In a similar manner to the March and November lockdowns, people must stay at home except for a specific purpose such as purchasing food or medicine and collecting items from a click and collect service. People can leave home to provide childcare for those under the age of 13 as part of a childcare bubble and visit people in their support bubble. People can also continue to go outdoors for unlimited exercise and can meet one person from another household in a public, outside setting.

The UK housing market

Robert Kenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, has confirmed the sales and rental market will remain open in all tiers as part of his housing market update. Mr Kenrick confirms all associated activities can continue as before and has urged those involved to follow the COVID-19 guidance and use their judgment as to whether their actions are necessary at that particular time.

Travelling to and from Tier Four

People in Tier Four must stay in their area except for work, education or to visit a support or childcare bubble. Residents in Tier Four are not permitted to stay overnight away from home. Those living in Tier Four areas are advised not to travel internationally, unless permitted. People should work from home if they can, but can still travel to work if home working is not an option.

The Grant Saw offices will be closed from Thursday 24 December 2020 until Monday 4 January 2021 and in the build up to Christmas Eve, the majority of staff will be working from home with skeleton staff in the office during specific times for administrative purposes. We would advise all clients to contact their lawyer via email or telephone in the first instance to set up a virtual meeting via Microsoft Teams, Zoom or WhatsApp.

The Tier Four restrictions will be reviewed on 30 December 2020 and further guidance can be found on the UK Government website here.