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COVID-19: Understanding the three-tier system

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As of today (Wednesday 14th October 2020), a new three-tier COVID-19 restriction system is in place across England. But what exactly does this mean?

With infection and death rates on the rise in the lead up to Winter, restrictions on socialising are being enforced to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus. This new three-tier system splits England into local and looks at their local infection rates. Locations are then split into tiers based on the risk – medium, high, or very high.

Although additional local rules may apply, the government regulations for each tier are:

Medium

  • Rule of 6 – with gathering permissible inside and/or outside
  • Pubs and restaurants will continue to shut at 10pm

This guidance is a continuation of the previous regulations, and will effect the majority of the country. Other general rules will continue to apply including the mandatory wearing of face coverings in shops and social distancing.

High

  • No household mixing allowed indoors
  • Rule of 6 – applies to outside gatherings
  • Pubs and restaurants will continue to shut at 10pm

Some studies have suggested that one of the main contributing factors to the spread of Coronavirus is contamination indoors. This high alert tier attempts to address this by not allowing indoor social gatherings. To help rebuild the economy however, workplaces, shops, restaurants and pubs will still remain to be open as normal. Other general rules will continue to apply including the mandatory wearing of face coverings in shops and social distancing.

As of 14/10/2020 the following places are in the High Alert Tier:

  • Cheshire
  • Warrington
  • Derbyshire
  • Lancashire
  • South Yorkshire
  • Tees Valley
  • Leicester
  • Nottingham

Very High

  • No household mixing allowed indoors or outdoors in private spaces or hospitality venues
  • Rule of 6 – applies to public spaces such as parks
  • Pubs and restaurants not serving meals will be closed
  • Local guidance on travel restrictions and further closes may apply

In areas with the highest risk of infection, even tighter restrictions are in place. These go further still to restrict social contact including the closure of social spaces indoors and outdoors; however, shops, schools and nurseries will remain open subject to the local authorities. Gyms, leisure centres, betting shops and casinos are closed in Liverpool for example – but may not be the case for other third tier locations later on.

 


List of tier locations

The following is a full list of areas across England split into which tier they currently fall under.
Please note, this list is correct as of 14th October 2020 – but is subject to change.

VERY HIGH

  • Liverpool

HIGH

  • Cheshire
  • Warrington
  • Derbyshire
  • Lancashire
  • South Yorkshire
  • Tees Valley
  • Leicester
  • Nottingham

MEDIUM

  • All other locations across England not listed above

 


 

For up to date guidance for your local area, you can use the BBC’s Coronavirus restriction post code searcher here.

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