The Prime Minister announced yesterday that areas entering into Tier 4 which came into effect on Sunday 20th December, such as London, will no longer be able to mix households for Christmas. In Tiers 1-3 in England the rules allowing a maximum of three households to mix will be restricted to Christmas Day only.
What is Tier 4?
Tier 4 is tougher restrictions brought in across London and the south east to try and slow the spread of a new variant of the Coronavirus. The areas affected are all the current Tier 3 areas in the South East including London, Kent, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey excluding Waverley, Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings, and East of England areas including Bedford, central Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Essex excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring.
The rules will be reviewed in two weeks’ time, on 30th December as part of a wider review of all restrictions.
What about Wales?
The Welsh Government has announced lockdown restrictions that came into effect in Wales from midnight on Saturday, while festive bubbles will only apply on Christmas Day. First Minister Mark Drakeford said the rules would mean non-essential retail, close contact services, gyms and leisure centres and hospitality would close at “end of trading” on Saturday. Stay at home rules also applied with effect from midnight on Saturday (19th).
So, where does this leave motorcycle sport? With immediate effect in the Tier 4 areas of England and for Wales it is simple, all organised events are cancelled until the Prime Minister and First Minister for Wales announces the easing of lockdown restrictions.
For those areas in Tier 3 (Very High alert), organised ACU activity can continue but the following restrictions need to be adhered to; leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open there should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey
ACU Chairman, Roy Humphrey commented, “We are facing a very difficult time, particularly at this time of the year. For our Organising Clubs/competitors and officials who live in a Tier 4 area or live in Wales, then all I can say is stay at home and stay safe! Having looked at the UK.Gov website, if anyone is caught breaking the rules, the police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. A fixed penalty of £200 is issued for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. As I’ve said before, although we think motorcycle sport is important, in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t. We need to consider the impact on the NHS which is under a massive strain, we need to do our bit and follow the rules. The perception of the sport is important, whilst the NHS is under the pressure it is given the spread of the new strain of Coronavirus, for organised motorcycle sport to be held in these Tier 4 areas would be irresponsible. We just need to follow the rules issued by the UK Government and those announced by the First Minister of Wales”.
For those living in Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, you should follow the latest rules/advice and guidance issued by your own Administrations.