Tier 3 rules explained: What are the new local lockdown laws for ‘very high’ alert areas?

Different areas across the UK are in Tier 2 lockdown but could soon move up to the highest level, Tier 3, with talks about tightening the restrictions ongoing.

By Robert Cumber
Tuesday, 20th October 2020, 3:06 pm

We’ve set out the Tier 3 rules in details so you can see exactly what that would that mean for people and businesses.

It should be noted that these are the baseline rules and additional restrictions can still be agreed between the Government and local leaders for individual areas.

Meeting family and friends

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Photo by Finnbarr Webster / POOL / AFP) (Photo by FINNBARR WEBSTER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The existing ban on different households mixing indoors and groups larger than six gathering anywhere would continue to apply, but different households would now be banned from meeting outside in many locations, including pubs, restaurants and private gardens.

People could continue to see family and friends from outside their household in certain locations, including parks, beaches, the countryside, forests, public gardens, allotmens, outdoor sports facilities and plagrounds.

If doing so they should continue to follow social distancing rules, staying two metres apart wherever possible, and should limit how many people they see socially over a short period of time.

People in a support bubble, formed of one household and an adult living alone, or a childcare bubble, providing care to a child aged 13 or under, can continue to meet as if they are a single household.

There are also some exceptions where groups of more than six can still meet, including for work and charitable services, for birth partners, to see someone who is dying and for weddings with up to 15 people and funerals with up to 30 people.

People flouting the restrictions on meeting in larger groups face a fine of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences, and anyone caught holding an illegal gathering of more than 30 people can be fined £10,000.

Pubs, restaurants and other businesses

Pubs and bars must close unless they serve ‘substantial’ meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal.

Restaurants, cafes, and pubs serving meals can remain open but different households will be banned from mixing there indoors or out.

Shops, places of worship, and leisure and entertainment venues, such as cinemas, can also remain open but the ban on different households mixing will apply.

The 10pm curfew for pubs, restaurants and cafes will remain in place, though deliveries can continue after this time.

Businesses failing to comply with the restrictions face a fine of up to £10,000, prosecution or closure.

Tougher measures which could be agreed with local authorities include closing all pubs, restaurants and cafes, with only takeaways and deliveries allowed; closing entertainment venues like cinemas; closing gyms; and preventing ‘close contact’ businesses like hairdressers and beauty salons.

Going to work

People should work from home where possible but those who cannot should continue to attend their place of work.

Employers must ensure there are measures in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Staff who are in one of the most vulnerable groups can go to work provided the workplace is secure but should work from home wherever possible.

People living inside and outside of the Tier 3 ‘very high’ alert area can still travel in and out of other areas for work.

Schools, colleges and universities

Schools and colleges and universities would remain open as normal but there would be tougher restrictions in place for university students, who would not be allowed to move between their permanent home and student lodgings during term time.

Travel

People are advised not to travel into or out of ‘very high' alert areas, though they can pass through one or travel in and out where necessary for work or education.

They can continue to travel within the area but are asked to limit their journeys and walk or cycle where possible.

Visiting relatives in care homes

This would only be allowed in ‘exceptional circumstances’, like when a loved one is dying.

Sport

Outdoor sport and other physical activity is still permitted for any number, provided the guidance is followed.

Indoor sport would only be allowed where it is possible without households mixing.

There are exceptions for disability sport, education and physical activity for under-18s.

Moving home

You can still move home in a ‘very high’ alert area.

What if you are in an at-risk group?

The most vulnerable people include those aged 70 or above, pregnant women and those with an underlying health condition like diabetes or chronic asthma, heart disease, kidney disease or liver disease.

They can still go outside as much as they like but should try to keep their social interactions low.

They can visit businesses such as supermarkets, restaurants and shops while keeping two metres from others wherever possible, and they should continue to wash their hands thoroughly and frequently and to clean frequently touched surfaces in their home or at work.