A GOVERNMENT source has suggested Tier 5 restrictions could be introduced to parts of the country in the New Year to curb the rate of infection.

It is believed millions in the most badly hit areas could be faced with even tighter restrictions within a matter of weeks as the new variants of Covid-19 spread across the country.

The source, who spoke to the national media, said Tier 4 restrictions were not proving enough to curb the spread of the virus, leading to discussion about an even harsher lockdown in January.

But how much stricter can things get? Non-essential retail, bars and pubs, hairdressers and gyms have already been closed down across all of Sussex.

You cannot leave your home unless for work, education, exercise or for essential outings such as a trip to the supermarket or doctors.

People are not permitted to mix indoors, and you can only meet with one other person outside.

READ MORE: 'Tier 5' - reports of heightened restrictions being considered in Tier 4 areas

Tier 5 has not been confirmed yet however some have suggested it could resemble the restrictions in place during the first pandemic which was introduced in March.

Then, even more severe rules were in place, including people only being allowed outside for limited exercise and other essential reasons such as buying food or medicine.

Under current Tier 4 restrictions, which 43 per cent of England's population are currently under, people are only allowed to meet with one other person, not from their household in an outdoor space such as a park.

Some have suggested if 'Tier 5' was introduced, people may no longer be able to meet up outside with another person from a different household.

Others have suggested rules about schools could also change under 'Tier 5', however, the Government has continually said they want to prioritize children staying in school.

The Argus: Brighton during the first national coronavirus lockdown Credit: Simon DackBrighton during the first national coronavirus lockdown Credit: Simon Dack

In the first lockdown in March schools were closed for the majority of children, unless their caregivers were key workers.

Yesterday, Michael Gove said that he was 'confident' schools would reopen next week, but a number of headteachers and unions across the country have said they have not been given enough time to prepare for the mass testing required for a safe return.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) told BBC Breakfast said: “Eminent scientists have said that schools should remain closed; that’s what unions I think have been responding to.”