Tier 3 rules: What are new restrictions and are shops open? OLD

Olivia Petter
·4-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

England has now entered a three-tier system as the second nationwide lockdown of the year has come to an end.

Matt Hancock announced which regions would fall under which tiers last week, revealing that 99 per cent of the country would be placed in either tiers 2 or 3.

Boris Johnson previously said that when England did return to a regional approach, restrictions would be tougher across all three tiers.

“Without sensible precautions, we would risk the virus escalating into a winter or new year surge,” said Mr Johnson. “While the previous tiers did cut the R-number they were not quite enough to cut it below one.”

Read more: Which lockdown tier am I in?

People can find out which alert level their area falls under using the postcode search available on the government website. You can also refer to a full list here. The NHS Covid 19 app will also be updated and show which local alert level applies in which area.

Blackpool, Manchester and Bristol have all been placed in tier 3.

Here’s everything you need to know about what you can and cannot do in tier 3.

What does it mean if an area is placed in tier 3?

If a region has been placed in tier 3, or under “very high” alert, this means that it is an area “where transmission rates are causing the greatest concern”, the government states.

“This includes incidence and test positivity, including amongst older and more at-risk age groups, as well as the growth rate, hospital admissions and other factors,” the government’s website adds.

In areas placed under “very high” alert, the government will outline a “baseline of measures” for members of the public to follow, in addition to working with local authorities to decide what “additional measures” are required.

Can I see friends and family?

When it comes to socialising, people in tier-3 areas are not allowed to mix with different households indoors or outdoors, unless it is in a public space such as a park.

The government website says: “You must not socialise in a group of more than six in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility – this is called the ‘rule of 6’.

“You must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues.”

Can I visit pubs and restaurants?

While the 11pm curfew on hospitality venues applies to areas under “medium” and “high” alert, for regions under “very high” alert, pubs and bars must close their doors.

However, they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.

Can I travel?

Members of the public are being advised by the government to refrain from travelling in or out of tier-3 areas to prevent further transmission of Covid-19.

The government states: "Avoid travelling out of the area, other than where necessary such as for work, education, youth services, medical attention or because of caring responsibilities.”

For these reasons, accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close.

However, there are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training.

But the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, has said that tier 3 residents would still be able to go abroad and the government has confirmed that there will be no legal impediment to travelling on holiday from anywhere in England – subject to outbound and inbound rules.

What about weddings and funerals?

Weddings and funerals can continue to go ahead, but there are restrictions on the number of guests.

Up to 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, however, unlike in tiers 1 and 2, receptions are not permitted.

As for funerals, 30 people can attend.

Can cinemas and museums stay open?

All indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close in tier 3.

This includes cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums, galleries and bowling alleys.

What will stay open?

Leisure and sports facilities may stay open in tier 3 along with places of worship, non-essential retail and public buildings such as libraries and community centres.

Additionally, personal care and close contact services can stay open. This includes hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas and beauty salons, massage parlours and tanning salons.

How are the restrictions being imposed?

If you break the restrictions, you can be fined £200 for the first offence, doubling for each further offence 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.

You can read more about the three alert levels on the government website here.

Read More

Which lockdown tier am I in? Local area tiers explained

Three-tier lockdown rules: Can households mix?