Tier 3 Covid rules: What are the restrictions and which areas are affected?

LONDONERS at risk of being bumped into Tier 3 must be vigilant and control the spread of coronavirus, says Downing Street.

The alert comes amid revelations that Wales could move to lockdown after Christmas, and Scotland’s First Minister urged people not to travel for festive shopping, as Covid cases spike.

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What is Tier 3 lockdown? 

Tier 3 is the toughest set of restrictions applied to "very high" risk areas.

This category sees simple acts such as popping to the pub for a pint of beer or a glass of wine banned.

Bars, cafes and restaurants must remain shut except for takeaway services, and households cannot mix except in public places outdoors.

On November 26, the tier locations in England were unveiled by Matt Hancock, plunging 99 per cent of the country has been plunged into Tier 2 and Tier 3.

Tier 3 – Very High Alert: what it means:

  • All shops can stay open
  • You can meet with others in public outdoor places, such as beaches or parks, but only in groups of up to six people
  • However, 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
  • Areas should only be at this level for 28 days then a review should take place
  • You should maintain social distancing from anyone not in your household or support bubble
  • People can't stay overnight somewhere outside of their local area unless needed for work, education or similar
  • Accommodation will be closed in these areas except for specific reasons
  • Pubs, cafes and restaurants must close except for takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
  • You should work from home where possible
  • Businesses such as hair, beauty and nail salons can stay open
  • People are advised against travelling out of their area
  • You should still wear a face covering
  • Public buildings such as libraries can open
  • Up to 15 people can attend a wedding ceremony or civil partnership but no reception is allowed
  • Up to 30 people can attend someone’s funeral and up to 15 people can attend someone’s wake
  • Gyms, pools, and leisure facilities can open

Which areas in England are in Tier 3?

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has laid on extra community testing and more cops targeting Covid rule-breakers to stop the Tier 2-placed capital from being put in Tier 3.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Thursday, December 10, that he's "particularly concerned" about the number of cases in London, Kent and Essex, and the data shows "by far" the fastest rise is among 11 to 18-year-olds.

East Midlands

  • Derby and Derbyshire
  • Leicester and Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

North East: North East Combined Authority:

  • County Durham
  • Gateshead
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • North Tyneside
  • Northumberland
  • South Tyneside
  • Sunderland

North East: Tees Valley Combined Authority:

  • Darlington
  • Hartlepool
  • Middlesbrough
  • Redcar and Cleveland
  • Stockton-on-Tees

North West

  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Blackpool
  • Greater Manchester
  • Lancashire

South East

  • Kent and Medway
  • Slough (remainder of Berkshire is tier 2: High alert)

South West

  • Bristol
  • North Somerset
  • South Gloucestershire

West Midlands

  • Birmingham and Black Country
  • Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
  • Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull

Yorkshire and The Humber

  • East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Kingston upon Hull/Hull
  • North East Lincolnshire
  • North Lincolnshire
  • South Yorkshire
  • West Yorkshire

Will there be a Tier 4?

Ministers have scrapped plans to bring in a tougher tier 4 for the worst-hit areas.

Instead, the government has strengthened the current three-tier system and placed more areas in tiers 2 and 3.

Can shops stay open? 

Yes, under the new restrictions non-essential shops are staying open in tier three, allowing Brits to go shopping in the run up to Christmas.

Cinemas, however, will remain closed.

Can pubs and restaurants stay open?

Unlike the previous restrictions, pubs and restaurants in tier three can only stay open for takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.

They can't have sit-in customers or seating outside.

Can separate households mix?

People from different households aren't allowed to mix indoors or in private outdoor areas under Tier 3.

In this category, you are just allowed to meet up to six people in certain public spaces, including parks, beaches and playgrounds.

Rule flouters in larger groups can be fined between £200 and £6,400 by police, depending on the number of offences.

Exemptions across all tiers include those in childcare, education or training or providing voluntary or charitable services.

Are gyms and sports facilities open? 

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can reopen in all three tiers.

The PM said that shops, gyms, personal care businesses and leisure facilities were allowed to reopen from December 2.

Spectators are banned from attending football matches.

Can I get a haircut?

Yes, hairdressers salons and beauty salons are open across the country.

Officials were concerned that they would be unable to stop people going from Tier 3 areas into Tier 2 ones to sneak in an appointment before Christmas.

Can I get married?

Weddings and civil partnerships can take place with 15 guests, but receptions are banned in Tier 3.

Can I go to work? 

The government has advised anyone in tier three to work from home if they can.

People unable to work from home will be allowed to travel into work and can go outside of tier restrictions if their work requires it.

Can I travel to other parts of the UK? 

If you live in a tier three area, you are not advised to stay overnight in another part of the UK unless it is essential.

Equally, people should not travel to tier three areas unless they are travelling for work, education or for care reasons.

What are the rules for Christmas?

Boris Johnson has announced a slight relaxation of Covid-busting restrictions for Christmas.

Three households will be able to meet up inside for five days over Christmas in a much-needed boost for the nation after a gruelling year of Covid rules.

Social distancing and travel rules will be scrapped from December 23 to 27 so Brits can hug their grannies and see their friends as part of the festive plan.

There will be a relaxation of restrictions on overnight stays, and people will be allowed to travel freely across tiers.

Cops won't be expected to patrol to enforce the new rules – but they will step in if people break them by hosting huge gatherings or hold parties.


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