Lincolnshire joins Cambridgeshire in tier 4 from tomorrow
Lincolnshire will move into tier 4 on New Year's Eve aligning it with neighbouring Cambridgeshire which has been in the strictest tier since Boxing day.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock spoke in the House of Commons today (Wednesday) and announced much of the country would be moving into tier 4 from 12.01am tomorrow (Thursday, December 30).
Among those moving into tier 4 are Lincolnshire, including South Kesteven and Northamptonshire, while Rutland will move into tier 3.
The restrictions mean all non-essential shops must close in Lincolnshire, and pubs and bars must close in Rutland. Other restrictions include people only being able to leave home for food, exercise, medical reasons and for work if you can't work from home.
Cambridgeshire was moved into tier 4 at 12.01am on Boxing Day having previously been in the much more relaxed tier 2.
Mr Hancock said: "Suppressing the virus has got a whole lot harder because of the new variant and we must take more action today."
He said the vaccine was the "route out" of the pandemic and welcomed the approval of the Oxford AstraZenecca vaccine announced earlier today (Thursday, December 30).
He said the Oxford vaccine was a "victory for all" that offered "hope not just for this country but for the whole world", because it was cheap and could be stored easily.
"We need to vaccinate as quickly as supply allows and the NHS stand ready to accelerate deployment from Monday, January 4."
He said there were enough doses available for every adult in the UK.
"It brings forward the day we can lift the restrictions that no-one in this house wants to see.
"But we must act to suppress the virus now. The new variant makes the time between now and then even more difficult."
He said "the NHS is under very significant pressure" and said that more than 21,000 people were in hospital with the virus now. He thanked all those working in the NHS for their hard work.
"Unfortunately this new variant is spreading across most of England."
Moving into tier 4 are
Leicestershire (Oadby and Wigston, Harborough, Hinckley and Bosworth, Blaby, Charnwood, North West Leicestershire, Melton)
Lincolnshire (City of Lincoln, Boston, South Kesteven, West Lindsey, North Kesteven, South Holland, East Lindsey)
Northamptonshire (Corby, Daventry, East Northamptonshire, Kettering, Northampton, South Northamptonshire, Wellingborough)
Derby and Derbyshire (Derby, Amber Valley, South Derbyshire, Bolsover, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield, Erewash, Derbyshire Dales, High Peak)
Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (Gedling, Ashfield, Mansfield, Rushcliffe, Bassetlaw, Newark and Sherwood, Nottinghamshire, Broxtowe)
Birmingham and Black Country (Dudley, Birmingham, Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton)
Warwickshire (Rugby, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Warwick, North Warwickshire, Stratford-upon-Avon)
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent (East Staffordshire, Stafford, South Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Staffordshire Moorlands, Newcastle under Lyme, Tamworth, Stoke-on-Trent)
Lancashire (Burnley, Pendle, Blackburn with Darwen, Ribble Valley, Blackpool, Preston, Hyndburn, Chorley, Fylde, Lancaster, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Wyre)
Cheshire and Warrington (Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Warrington)
Cumbria (Eden, Carlisle, South Lakeland, Barrow-in-Furness, Copeland, Allerdale)
Greater Manchester (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan)
Tees Valley (Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees )
North East (County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside, Sunderland)
Gloucestershire (Gloucester, Forest of Dean, Cotswolds, Tewkesbury, Stroud, Cheltenham)
Somerset Council (Mendip, Sedgemoor, Somerset West and Taunton, South Somerset
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
Isle of Wight
The following local authority areas will move to tier 3: Very High:
Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
Worcestershire (Bromsgrove, Malvern Hills, Redditch, Worcester, Wychavon, Wyre Forest)
Liverpool City Region (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, St Helens)
York & North Yorkshire (Scarborough, Hambleton, Richmondshire, Selby, Craven, Ryedale, Harrogate, City of York)
Bath and North East Somerset
Devon, Plymouth, Torbay (East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge, West Devon, Plymouth, Torbay)