Tier systems, local lockdowns and what they mean

With the announcement of the three tiered system from the government to introduce local lockdowns, we all found out last week that both Nottinghamshire and areas of Derbyshire were moving into Tier 2.  Further announcements have been made this week that areas of South Yorkshire are moving into Tier 3. This can be confusing and may cause panic and worry for people who might not understand what all these bands mean and what the difference is between these tiers. We’ve put together some information on what these different bands mean and what the local lockdowns mean.

Tier 1 – Medium Alert and what it means for you

The Tier 1 restrictions cover the majority of the UK. These restrictions are reviewed every 28 days.

Meeting with others

You can see people from different households both indoors and outdoors, but only in groups of up to 6 people. There are no restrictions on staying overnight somewhere other than your house, but you can only go away with those outside your household our support bubble in a group of 6.

Working

You should work from home wherever possible. Where this isn’t possible, workplaces should be Coronavirus secure.

Shops and hospitality

Shops can remain open as normal. However, restaurants, pubs, cafes and other hospitality venues must close by 10pm and provide table service.

Gyms and exercise

Gyms can remain open. Organised sport and licensed physical activity are allowed in indoor and outdoor settings. You can’t attend sporting events such as football matches.

Places of worship

Places of worship can open subject to the rule of six, but it’s best to check with them directly. There are exceptions for weddings and funerals.

Weddings and funerals

Up to 15 people can attend a wedding ceremony and a Coronavirus secure sit-down reception. For funerals, up to 30 people can attend and up to 15 people can attend a persons wake.

Care homes

Local decisions about care home visits continue to apply.

Tier 2 – High alert and what it means for you

The Tier 2 restrictions cover specific areas in the UK, these are outlined by the government and local authorities. The alert level is reviewed every 14 days, and these restrictions are reviewed every 28 days.

Meeting with others

You can see people from different households outside in groups of up to 6 people. You can only meet inside with those in your household or your support bubble. Mixing indoors with other households or individuals not in your support bubble is not permitted.

Staying overnight

You can’t stay overnight somewhere if it means being inside with others that aren’t in your household or support bubble.

Travel and transport

You should limit your journeys where possible. However, you can still travel and use transport to go to the shops, work and hospitality venues that are open.

Going to work

You should work from home wherever possible. Where this cannot be done, workplaces should be Coronavirus secure.

Shops and hospitality

Shops can remain open as normal. Restaurants, pubs, cafes and other hospitality venues remain open. These venues must close by 10pm and provide table service. You can only go out to these places with people from your household or support bubble.

Exercise and sporting activity

Gyms can remain open. Organised sport and licensed physical activity are allowed in indoor and outdoor settings. You can’t attend sporting events such as football matches.

Places of worship

Places of worship can open, as long as households don’t mix indoors. It’s best to check with your place of worship individually. There are exceptions for weddings and funerals.

Weddings and funerals

Up to 15 people can attending a wedding ceremony and a Coronavirus secure sit-down reception. For funerals, up to 30 people can attend someone’s funeral and up to 15 people can attend a persons wake.

Tier 3 – Very high alert and what it means for you

The Tier 3 restrictions cover specific areas in the UK, these are outlined by the government and local authorities. Areas should only be at this level for 28 days, then a review should take place.

Meeting with others

You can meet others in public outdoor places, such as beaches or parks, but only in groups of up to 6 people. You can only meet indoors or in private outdoor spaces, such as someone’s garden, or hospitality venues, with those in your household or support bubble.

Staying overnight

You can’t stay overnight somewhere if it means you will be inside with people outside your household or support bubble. You’re advised against overnight stays in other parts of the UK and people outside of these very high alert areas are advised not to stay in these areas.

Travel and transport

Journeys should be minimised, but you can still travel to go to the shops, works and hospitality venues that are open.

You’re advised against travelling out of your area, although exceptions apply (such as for medical reasons etc.).

Going to work

You should work from home where possible. Where this isn’t possible, workplaces should be Coronavirus secure.

Shops and hospitality

Shops can remain open as normal. Restaurants, pubs and cages can remain open but may be subject to local closures. These venues have to close by 10pm and must provide table service. Pubs and bars must serve a substantial meal with the purchase of alcohol. You can only go out to these places with people from your household or support bubble.

Exercise and sporting activity

Gyms may be closed, depending on local area decisions. Organised sport and licensed physical activity are allowed in indoor and outdoor settings. You can’t attend sporting events such as football matches.

Places of worship

They can open as long as households don’t mix indoors or outdoors, but it’s best to check with our place of worship. There are exceptions for weddings and funerals.

Weddings and funerals

Up to 15 people can attend a ceremony, but wedding receptions aren’t allowed. For funerals, up to 30 people can attend and up to 15 people can attend someone’s wake.

Care home visits

You should only visit someone in exceptional circumstances, such as if they are at the end of their life.

Do the restrictions affect everyone?

Each local area is at one of the three alert levels, so you will fall into one of the three tiers. However, there are some exceptions.

If you live in a high or very high-risk area there are some exceptions to the rules, were you can meet with other people outside of the above guidelines. These are:

If you’re meeting with people who are in your support or childcare bubbles

  • For work or volunteering
  • To provide care or assistance to someone who is vulnerable
  • To fulfil a legal obligation
  • For outdoor exercise or outdoor dance classes
  • To visit someone who is dying
  • As a birth partner
  • For a funeral or a wedding (there are restrictions on numbers)
  • To attend support groups
  • Attending protests

To find out more about each tier, you can visit the gov.uk website: Medium, High, Very High