When will the tier system be reviewed next?

Millions of people living in England are now under tier four restrictions following the spread of a ‘mutant’ variation of Covid-19.

London, Sussex, and Norfolk are among the places living in the highest tier level – which has seen the closure of non-essential shops and pubs.

Restrictions in tiers one, two, and three were relaxed on Christmas Day meaning that households could mix – but millions more were plunged into tier four measures on Boxing Day amid cases surging across the country.

With a large proportion of the population now under the toughest restrictions, many will be eager to know when their tier could change.

When will the tiers be reviewed?

When the system was first unveiled in December, Boris Johnson said tier reviews would take place every two weeks.

That means the public can expect experts and ministers to review the tier systems on December 30.

However, this does not mean that areas cannot move tiers between now and December 30.

The latest full tier review was on December 19, yet on December 23 it was announced that more areas would be moving to higher tiers on Boxing Day.

If coronavirus cases suddenly surge in an area between reviews, then the government may very well put it into a higher tier straight away, rather than wait for the next review.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has indicated that tier four restrictions could be in place for some months.

‘In the areas where this new variant started, in Kent, the cases carried on rising whereas in the rest of the country the November lockdown worked very effectively,’ he told Sky News on Sunday.

‘It is an enormous challenge, until we can get the vaccine rolled out to protect people. This is what we face over the next couple of months.’

When will the tier system end?

Mr Johnson has already written to Tory MPs offering them a chance to vote on the restrictions early next year, saying the legislation will have a ‘sunset of 3 February.’

The result of that vote after Christmas will determine whether the tier system remains in place until the end of March.

The Prime Minister also told MPs on December 1 that tiers would be decided on a more ‘granular’ basis after the mid-December review.

How are lockdown tiers determined?

Five factors are taking into consideration when deciding a tier.

  • Case detection rates in all age groups
  • Case detection rates in the over-60s
  • The rate at which cases are rising or falling
  • The positivity rate – the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken
  • Pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy.

Which lockdown tier are you in?

Tier 1: Medium alert

South West

  • Isles of Scilly

Tier 2: High alert

East Midlands

  • Rutland

North West

  • Cumbria
  • Liverpool City Region

South East

  • Isle of Wight

South West

  • Bath and North East Somerset
  • Cornwall
  • Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
  • Devon, including Plymouth and Torbay
  • Wiltshire

West Midlands

  • Herefordshire
  • Shropshire, and Telford and Wrekin
  • Worcestershire


  • City of York and North Yorkshire

Tier 3: Very High alert

East Midlands

  • Derby and Derbyshire
  • Leicester City
  • Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

North East

  • North East Combined Authority (this area includes the local authorities of County Durham, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland)
  • North of Tyne Combined Authority (this area includes the local authorities of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Tyneside and Northumberland)
  • Tees Valley Combined Authority (this area includes the local authorities of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton-on-Tees)

North West

  • Greater Manchester
  • Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen, and Blackpool
  • Warrington and Cheshire

South East

  • New Forest

South West

East Midlands

  • Northamptonshire

West Midlands

  • Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton
  • Coventry
  • Solihull
  • Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
  • Warwickshire

Yorkshire and The Humber

  • Kingston upon Hull/Hull
  • North East Lincolnshire
  • North Lincolnshire
  • South Yorkshire (Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield)
  • The Humber: East Riding of Yorkshire
  • West Yorkshire (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield)

Tier 4: Stay at Home


  • All 32 London boroughs plus City of London

South East

  • Buckinghamshire
  • Berkshire (Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, Wokingham, Windsor and Maidenhead and West Berkshire)
  • Hampshire (excluding New Forest)
  • Kent and Medway
  • Oxfordshire
  • Southampton
  • Surrey
  • West Sussex, East Sussex and Brighton and Hove

East of England

  • Cambridgeshire
  • Central Bedfordshire, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton
  • Essex
  • Hertfordshire
  • Peterborough

To find out what tier your area is in, use the Government postcode checker.

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