Outdoor sport for children is still allowed under new Tier 4 lockdown rules as indoor gyms and pools ordered to close

KIDS will still be able to play organised sports outside in the new Tier 4 – but indoor gyms and swimming pools must close, the Government has confirmed.

The Prime Minister today cancelled Christmas for 18million people in London and the South-East after revealing tougher measures are needed to combat a rogue new strain of Covid.

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Brits in some Tier 3 areas are heading into new Tier 4 as a result of the strain – known as VUI202012/01 – which is 70 per cent more contagious.

It means they can't mix with other households or travel unless essential.

It comes as:

  • Boris Johnson today cancelled Christmas for millions as he put London, the South East and East in Tier 4 lockdown
  • A new mutant strain of Covid-19 is becoming the "dominant variant" of the disease and may be up to 70% more contagious
  • All Brits have been told to stay local during the festive season
  • Christmas bubbles in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 have been cut to just 24 hours on December 25
  • Non-essential shops and gyms in Tier 4 areas must be closed from midnight
  • Those in Tier 4 will be able to meet only one other person outdoors – but must not stay overnight from home
  • Wales will go into lockdown from tonight and people can 'bubble' for Christmas day only
  • Scotland banned travel from the rest of the UK to stop the new strain spreading and will go into the toughest lockdown measures on Boxing Day

But even in the strictest tier, exercise is unlimited. Outdoor play areas will stay open, and youth teams can meet, as long as they stay outside.

Officials have added playgrounds to the list of "essential" services that can stay open.

Services not deemed essential – including clothes shops, car showrooms and travel agencies – must close until at least December 30.

Gyms must also shut in Tier 4.

Outdoor sports courts, gyms, swimming pools, riding centres and playgrounds can remain open for "individual exercise".

People can also use the facilities with others from their household, support bubble, or with one person from another household.

Meanwhile, organised outdoor sport for under 18s and disabled people will be allowed.

The new restrictions will begin tomorrow, Sunday.

Anyone who breaks the rules below could be hit with a £200 fine in the first instance. That doubles for further offences, up to a maximum of £6,400.

Those who hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, will be fined £10,000.

In the toughest tier, Christmas is effectively cancelled for millions.

Travel is banned, apart from a few exceptions, including education, childcare or an emergency, while households aren't allowed to mix, either indoors or outside.

When it comes to education, the Government says it must be formal provision – as in, going to class – rather than extracurricular classes such as music or drama tuition.

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Communal worship can also still go ahead.

And people can still go to work – but only if they cannot work from home.

People can leave home for any medical reason, including to get a Covid test, to be with someone who is giving birth, to escape domestic abuse, or to get treatment for a pet.

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