Can I travel to a Tier Four area from Northamptonshire — or can my loved ones come to see me at Christmas?

PM's shock announcement KO's holiday plans for thousands

Non-essential shops in Centre:MK are closed after Saturday's announcement. Photo: Getty Images
Non-essential shops in Centre:MK are closed after Saturday's announcement. Photo: Getty Images

Saturday's shock announcement by the Prime Minister ruined Christmas plans for thousands in Northamptonshire.

The five-day 'Christmas window' allowing loved ones to get together over the holidays is now confined to December 25 ONLY.

And all those with friends and relatives over the border in Peterborough, Buckinghamshire or Bedfordshire cannot now see family and friends at all — even on the doorstep.

How Northampton compares with surrounding areas in Tiers Three and Four. Source: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

Boris Johnson made the announcement in a desperate bid to slow transmission of the new fast-spreading variant of Covid-19.

It means areas to the south and east of our county in Peterborough, Milton Keynes, Bedford and Luton have moved to Tier Four with the toughest restrictions.

All non-essential shops are closed — and any one tempted to travel a few extra miles into Northamptonshire to shop in the run-up to Christmas faces hefty penalties.

Other areas north and west of Northamptonshire, such as Birmingham, Coventry and Leicester are already in Tier Three.

Only key workers can travel between Peterborough and Northampton. Photo: Getty Images

There, restrictions are still geared around stopping households mixing indoors and non-essential shops and services are still open.

Here's all you need to know:

If you're planning on travelling to a Tier Four area from a Tier Two area

You should not travel into a Tier Four area from another part of the UK, other than for reasons such as:

■ travel to work where you cannot work from home

■ travel to education and for caring responsibilities

■ to visit those in your support bubble - or your childcare bubble for childcare

■ to attend hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health

You should continue to practise safe behaviours on public transport:

■ plan ahead, check for disruption before you leave, and avoid the busiest routes, as well as busy times

■ avoid making unnecessary stops during your journey

■ avoid sharing a car with people not in your household

■ keep your distance from other people when you travel, where possible

■ wash or sanitise your hands regularly

What about travelling to a Tier Three area?

If you are in a Tier Two area, you can travel to a Tier One area — which means Herefordshire, Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly — but must continue to follow Tier Two rules while you are there.

But people who live in Tier Two areas are advised not to travel to a Tier Three area, or have overnight stays in Tier Three areas other than where necessary, such as:

■ travel to work where you cannot work from home

■ travel to education and for caring responsibilities

■ to access voluntary, charitable or youth services

■ to visit those in your support bubble - or your childcare bubble for childcare

■ to attend hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health

■ to visit your support bubble

■ for moving home

Those living in a Tier Two area can travel through a Tier Three area as a part of a longer journey.

For those thinking about leaving a Tier Four area:

You must stay at home and not leave your Tier Four area, other than for legally permitted reasons such as:

■ travel to work where you cannot work from home

■ travel to education and for caring responsibilities

■ visit those in your support bubble - or your childcare bubble for childcare

■ attend hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health