New three tier system for England in battle against the pandemic

The new rules explained

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new rules on Monday (12 October) to create a three tier system across England – with increasing restrictions depending on alert level.

Tier 1- Medium

This includes most of England with Bristol in this tier at the moment and the following rules apply:

  • The Rule of Six – socialising in groups of more than six people is not allowed whether indoors or outdoors.
  • Tradespeople can continue entering a household for work and are not counted as being part of the six-person limit.
  • Businesses and venues can still continue to operate – other than those closed by law such as nightclubs.
  • Pubs and restaurants must make sure their customers only consume food and drink while seated, and must close from 10pm to 5am.
  • Takeaway food can still be sold after 10pm if it is ordered by phone or online.
  • Places of worship remain open but people must not mingle in a group of more than six.
  • Weddings and funerals can still go ahead with restrictions on the number of people who can attend (15 for a wedding and 30 for a funeral).
  • Exercise classes and organised sport can still take place outdoors, and indoors – if the rule of six is observed.
  • Schools and universities remain open.

Tier 2 – High

This includes large areas of the north and north-east and parts of the Midlands including Birmingham and Leicester.

On top of the above rules the extra restrictions are:

  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • The rule of six continues to apply for socialising outdoors, for instance in a garden or public space like a park or beach.
  • People should also aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.

Tier 3 – Very high

This is for very high levels of infections and currently includes the Liverpool City region.

The following additional rules apply:

  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting, whether at home or in a public space. The Rule of Six applies in open public spaces like parks and beaches.
  • They should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are resident in a ‘Very High’ area, or avoid staying overnight in a ‘Very High’ area if they are resident elsewhere.
  • Pubs and bars must close, and can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant – which means serving substantial meals. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.
  • Wedding receptions are not allowed.
  • People should try to avoid travelling outside the ‘Very High’ area they are in, or entering a ‘Very High’ area, other than for things like work, education, accessing youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if they are in transit.

For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-announces-new-local-covid-alert-levels