This meant that gyms and indoor swimming pools must close, affecting English swimming clubs such as Wycombe District, Sevenoaks, Guildford City and more. Additionally, unless British Swimming has designated university swimmers as ‘elite’, swimmers based at the English colleges are also now out of the water.
Tier 4 also means that you cannot leave or be outside of the place you are living unless you have a reasonable excuse. Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household.
The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices). You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.
Now more regions have been placed into tier four, as announced by England’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock. The following regions were designated as such as of 12:01 am local on New Year’s Eve. The remainder of the country will be statused as ‘tier 3’.
- Leicester City
- 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
- New Forest
In its latest response to these restrictions, Swim England expresses its understanding of the need to protect the National Health Service but also expresses disappointment regarding the fact swimming facilities have proven to be low-risk in terms of coronavirus transmission.
“However, we have proven time and time again that pools and leisure centres are well managed, chlorinated, controlled environments where the risk of transmission can be successfully mitigated.
“We know that pools can help ease the long-term burden on the NHS and our work to have leisure centres and pools classed as an essential service continues to get pools open as early as possible in 2021.”
Via social media Nickerson also communicated what areas’ tier relegations means for team travel. “Tier 4 swimmers can’t go into tier 3 clubs.”