Covid Tiers: How The New Rules For Your Area Will Be Decided

Ned Simons and Rachel Wearmouth
·3-min read

Update: Here is the full list of which areas in England will go into which tiers on December 2

England’s national four-week lockdown comes to an end on December 2 and will be replaced with a new system of local restrictions.

The country will be divided into tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 areas with escalating strictness of rules designed to try and control the spread of coronavirus.

The government is due to announce on Thursday which regions will be put into which tier based on the “most up-to-date” information, which will also be published.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said on Tuesday morning he accepted that “no one is going to be happy” about being under tiered restrictions but “at least you can see why your area is in that tier”.

The decisions will “primarily” be based on five key indicators:

  • Case detection rates in all age groups

  • Case detection rates in the over 60s

  • The rate at which cases are rising or falling

  • Positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken)

  • Pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy

The government has also said it wants to be flexible when applying the criteria based on the “context” of local areas.

For example hospital capacity in a given area will need to be considered in light of the capacity in neighbouring areas and the feasibility of moving patients.

Case detection rates will be weighted against whether the spread of the virus appears to be localised to particular communities.

This means ministers have not set “rigid thresholds” for when a particular indicator means an area should be placed into a particular tier.

The new tiers are stricter than the system in place before the national lockdown, and regions may enter a different tier on December 2 than they were in previously.

Tier 1

The rule-of-six for social gatherings, both indoor and outdoor, will be enforced, unless for work and education purposes.

Shops, gyms, hairdressers, beauty salons and leisure centres will be open.

Pubs and restaurants can open, but there is table service only and venues must take last orders at 10pm and close their doors at 11pm.

Collective worship and weddings can take place, with a maximum of 15 guests.

Outdoor sports can take place but there is a maximum crowd size of either 50% occupancy of the stadium or 4,000 spectators, whichever number is smaller.

Indoor sport can take place with a maximum of 1,000 spectators.

People are encouraged to minimise travel and to work from home where possible.

Tier 2

Mixing of households indoors will be banned and the rule-of-six for social gatherings applies for outdoors.

Shops, gyms, hairdressers, beauty salons and leisure centres will be open.

Pubs and restaurants can open but alcohol can only be served with a substantial meal, with the same opening times restriction as in tier 1.

Collective worship and weddings can take place, with a maximum of 15 guests.

Outdoor sports can take place but there is a maximum crowd of 50% of overall capacity or 2,000, whichever is smaller.

Indoor sport can take place with a maximum of 1,000 spectators.

People should work from home where possible.

Tier 3

Household mixing both indoors and outdoors is banned. The rule-of-six for gatherings in public gardens or parks applies.

Shops, gyms, hairdressers, beauty salons and leisure centres will be open.

Hospitality venues such as pubs and restaurants, hotels and indoor entertainment venues will be forced to close. Delivery and takeaway services will be permitted, however.

Attending indoor and outdoor sport events is banned.

People should avoid travelling outside their area except for work, education or health reasons.

People should work from home where possible.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.