Tier rules – What you can and can’t do in your area explained

HALF of Brits are now living with tough new tier two or three restrictions that limit everything from meeting a friend for a pint to casual sex.

Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry and Slough will move into the second tier this weekend – and discussions are under way on Warrington, Nottinghamshire and West Yorkshire entering tier three.

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The new system was introduced by Boris Johnson in a bid to simplify different measures faced across the country.

But what are the rules for your area?

Tier three – very high risk

Tier three includes areas of “very high” risk, where coronavirus transmission rates are of the biggest concern.

In these areas households are not allowed to mix indoors or outdoors – including in pubs and private gardens.

Pubs and bars will close in the very high alert level areas unless they can operate as a restaurant.

People have also been advised against travel in and out of the areas.

Those in tier three can't stay overnight somewhere if it means they'll be inside with people outside their household or support bubble.

And they're also advised not to travel in a car with someone from outside their household – although if they have to, windows should be left open for ventilation.

Areas should only be at this level for 28 days then a review should take place.

Liverpool City Region – In Liverpool, gyms were initially forced to shut down.

However, earlier this week, the Government did a u-turn and allowed all gyms to reopen.

Liverpool hospitals could exceed healthcare capacity in the next week, one of the Government's scientific advisers has warned.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has also said the city was facing a "tough month" and that some businesses that close under the latest coronavirus restrictions may not reopen.

Pubs, bars, betting shops and casinos are closed across Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Halton.

Soft play centres must also remain shut

The Liverpool City Region has been under tier three since October 14.

This means the review day should fall on Wednesday, November 11.

Lancashire (including Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool)

The area has been in tier three since October 19.

Car boot sales, adult gaming centres, bingo halls, betting shops and soft play areas have been shut.

Initially, a row broke out because gyms and leisure centres were allowed to remain open in Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen, but not in Liverpool.

That's now been amended.

Greater Manchester – Boris Johnson faced an 11-day battle with Manchester mayor Andy Burnham over putting the region into tier three.

Earlier this week, talks collapsed over just £5m.

Mr Burnham wanted £65m to keep businesses in the area afloat – but the PM said he wouldn't go above £60m.

Moving into tier three means pubs and bars in Greater Manchester will be closed, unless they serve substantial meals, while betting shops, casinos, bingo halls, adult gaming centres and soft play areas will also shut.

Household mixing is banned indoors and outdoors in hospitality settings and private garden, and people are discouraged from travelling in and out of the area.

Gyms will be able to stay open.

Organised sport, exercise classes and other activity groups are only permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with.

South Yorkshire, including Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley – Pubs and bars which can't serve food will have to shut, along with soft play areas, betting shops and casinos.

Gyms and leisure centres can stay open – as it was confirmed that they will reopen in Liverpool after being ordered to shut.

But group classes will have to stop.

No wedding receptions will be allowed, either.

People will be unable to mix inside with other households – unless they are part of a support bubble.

Residents will be advised not to travel in or out of the region unless it's essential – and to try and stay off public transport if they can.

£11million extra cash will be given to the area to help local track and trace, and another £30million for business support for those who have to shut

Warrington (as of next week) – The current infection rate in Warrington is at 347.6 cases per 100,00, and eight people have died at Warrington Hospital in the last two days.

But as the area moves into tier three, there are some fundamental differences about what people can and can't do.

Residents can still go to leisure centres, gyms, fitness centres, beauticians, hairdressers and trampoline centres which are Covid secure.

They can still make essential journeys but should avoid travelling outside Warrington wherever possible.

Children can still go to school.

They can't socialise outside of households or bubbles in any indoor setting or venue, or in groups of more than six in an outdoor public place.

Pubs and bars that do not serve substantial meals as a restaurant, like a main lunchtime or evening meal, must also close.

South and West Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and the North East are holding discussions this week with the government about going into tier three.

Tier two – high risk

Many of the rules in tiers two and three are the same.

Those living in the second tier are banned from mixing with other households indoors, including in pubs.

When outside, only two households will be able to mix.

The Prime Minister said this tier reflects interventions in many local areas at the moment and "primarily aims to reduce household transmission by banning mixing indoors". 

Current social distancing measures, the "rule of six" outdoors and the 10pm curfew will continue in this tier.

However, most businesses – including pubs – remain open. Clubs have been closed since the start of lockdown, and have not yet reopened.

Schools also remain open.

A maximum of 15 people can attend a wedding ceremony and following 'coronavirus secure' sit-down reception.

Areas in tier two are:

  • Coventry
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Slough
  • Greater London
  • Essex
  • Elmbridge, Surrey
  • North East Derbyshire
  • Chesterfield
  • York
  • Barrow in Furness
  • Erewash, Derbyshire
  • Cheshire West and Chester
  • Cheshire East
  • Wigan
  • Tintwhistle
  • Padfield
  • Dinting
  • St John's
  • Old Glossop
  • Whitfield
  • Simmondley
  • Gamesley
  • Howard Town
  • Hadfield South
  • Hadfield North
  • Bolton
  • Leeds
  • Bradford
  • Kirklees
  • Calderdale
  • Wakefield
  • Newcastle
  • South Tyneside
  • North Tyneside
  • Gateshead
  • Sunderland
  • Durham
  • Northumberland
  • Middlesbrough
  • Redcar and Cleveland
  • Stockton-on-Tees
  • Darlington
  • Hartlepool
  • Birmingham
  • Sandwell
  • Solihull
  • Wolverhampton
  • Walsall
  • Leicester
  • Oadby and Wigston
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Nottingham City
  • Ashfield
  • Bassetlawe
  • Broxtowe
  • Gedling
  • Mansfield
  • Newark and Sherwood
  • Rushcliffe
  • Stoke (from Saturday)
  • Coventry (from Saturday)
  • Slough (from Saturday)

Tier one – medium risk

The rest of England is classed as 'medium risk'.

All businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a Covid-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law, such as nightclubs and adult entertainment venues

Businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am.

Businesses and venues selling takeaway food can remain open after 10pm as long as they're delivery services, click-and-collect or drive-thrus.

Schools, universities and places of worship remain open.

Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place, provided the rule of six is followed

People must not meet in groups larger than six, indoors or outdoors.

Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees.


The rules are much tighter in Scotland, which is due to enter a new five-tier lockdown on November 2.

The system features a series of measures – from "level zero" to four – to be applied in different areas of Scotland depending on the spread of the virus.

The top level would be close to a full lockdown, but the aim is for schools to remain open at all levels.

Restrictions under levels two and three are similar to those currently in place for different parts of Scotland.

The tiers are:

  • Level zero – eight people from three households can meet indoors. Most businesses would be open.
  • Level one – six people from two households can meet indoors.
  • Level two – limitations on hospitality and no gatherings inside people's homes. This will be broadly similar to current restrictions outside Scotland' central belt
  • Level three – much of hospitality closed completely, although restaurants may be able to open. Similar to current central belt restrictions
  • Level four – Closer to full lockdown, but six people from two households would still be able to meet outdoors. This would not be used "unless absolutely necessary"

Nicola Sturgeon said "it is possible that the whole country could be placed in the same level" if cases continue to spread.

It's not yet been announced which tier each area of Scotland will fall into.

The levels will be reviewed on a weekly basis.


Wales went into a firebreak 17-day lockdown at 6pm on Friday.

A series of strict measures are in place across the country.

Residents have been ordered to stay at home in most circumstances.

Children in years eight and above will be taught online.

People are also being told not to visit other households or meet people they don't meet with, while all pubs, restaurants and 'non-essential' shops are shut.

Leisure businesses, community centres, libraries and recycling centres are also shut

Places of worship are closed for normal services, except for funerals and weddings.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, people who do not share a household can meet up outdoors, while maintaining social distancing, in groups of up to 15 people.

But no indoor visits to other people's homes are allowed, with limited exemptions.

No more than six people from two households can meet in a private garden.

There is no limit on where residents can go for exercise, but people are advised to avoid unnecessary travel.

Gyms and swimming pools remain open but only for individual use, classes are banned under the latest rules.

All indoor sport, and sport involving mixing of households is also not allowed – with an exemption for elite sport to continue.

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