More English Swimmers Out Of The Water With ‘Tier 4’ Status

Just before Christmas, we reported how England’s coronavirus-designated ‘tier 3’ areas across London and southeast England would be moving into ‘tier 4′ as of December 20th.

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)
  • Coventry
  • Solihull
  • 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)
  • Swindon
  • 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.

CEO Jane Nickerson says, “We appreciate the need to protect our amazing NHS and help control the new strain of coronavirus that continues to spread throughout the country.

“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.”

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8 months ago

It’s almost like our government are a bunch of clueless mediocrities lurching from one crisis to the next…

Reply to  Togger
8 months ago

Actually, from mid-December up until yesterday’s announcement of a national lockdown, I only had to take a stroll in the city centre to realise that the clueless bunch doesn’t work at Westminster, but were on a shopping spree whilst ignoring every rule given by the named government. I even announced a couple of weeks ago here on SwimSwam that EXACTLY this would happen.

People are serious dimwits.

8 months ago

im sure they’ll find way for the “elite” swimmers to continue swimming…

M d e
Reply to  McQueen
8 months ago


It’s feasible for elite professional athletes to continue practicing safely.

8 months ago

The scary thing is that the Tier 4 restrictions could last “months”

Last edited 8 months ago by Monteswim
Ann Kenney
Reply to  Monteswim
8 months ago

Arthritis in the knees & shoulders makes swimming my go to exercise. How can we exercise & keep fit & not get obese when they take our exercise away?

Figure it out
Reply to  Ann Kenney
8 months ago

Not get obese? Simple calorie deficit. These selfish individual arguments take away from what needs to be a louder consistent voice based around science and solving the long term problem of getting this pandemic under control.

Annette powell
8 months ago

I feel it’s awful that everything is shutting down due to people not listening.i love swimming and the thought of not being able to swim in a leisure facility for months is making life unbearable.

Brenda Good
8 months ago

I’m disabled and I can only exercise in muscles stiffen and I’m in excruciating pain.chlorine kills pathogens and chlorine gas traces act as a disinfectant above water.safest place devastated and deoressed

8 months ago

The team I coach is fortunate to have two outdoor pools so we haven’t lost too much pool time, at least in the older age groups. Also, since only 18 & Unders can train, we picked up our Master’s times. AM practices are fine as the pool cover has been on all night but the PM practices (8 – 10 PM) are a bit nippy (water – 74, air – 32 – 36). But we have nearly 100% attendance considering the alternative is no swimming.

8 months ago

I don’t think lock down of pools is a good solution. They just need to be strict about social distancing and wearing masks when not in the water. Coaches need to wear masks as well and be a good example.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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