Tier 2 and 3 lockdown rules explained: Can I go to the pub, have my friends over or cancel my holiday?

AS more regions and cities are plunged into tougher coronavirus lockdowns, rules are rapidly changing.

Today it was announced Lancashire will join Liverpool in Tier 3 with the strictest restrictions.

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And yesterday eight other areas were confirmed as moving from Tier 1 to Tier 2, with half the population soon to be under the harshest rules.

Greater London will be rolled into Tier 2 lockdown from midnight today- meaning households will be banned from mixing indoors.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed Essex, Erewash, Elmbridge, North East Derbyshire, Barrow in Furness, Chesterfield and York will be in Tier 2 from midnight today.

Here we explain what you can and can't do depending on what tier you are living in.

I'm in Tier 2, can I have my friends over this weekend?

In places that will be moving to Tier 2 from midnight tonight, you can have pals (within a group of six) over for an indoor gathering.

But from 12.01 on Saturday morning you won't be able to be indoors together anymore, unless within the same household or support bubble.

You will only be able to hang out from Saturday outside as a group.

Can I travel from a Tier 2 lockdown area to a Tier 1 area to see friends or family?

You can, but if you have to follow the rules for Tier 2 still and only see people outside your household or support bubble outside.

You cannot stay with friends and family in a Tier 1 area or gather inside with them.

Can my friends from Liverpool or Lancashire come and visit me?

No – anyone living in Liverpool at the minute are under the strictest rules and are unable to mix with other households at all, indoors or outdoors.

Lancashire is due to join Liverpool in Tier 3 from midnight tonight and will be under the same restrictions.

Greater Manchester is expected to also be moved into Tier 3 but its leaders are still arguing with No10 over support measures and have so far rejected the idea.

Can I still see my support bubble?

Yes. A support bubble is defined by the government as "a close support network between one household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size".

However, the Rule of Six still applies in any tier – so if your support bubble contains more than six people you should not meet all at once.

In Tier Three mixing between households is banned – but support bubbles are exempt.

I'm in Tier 2, can I meet my brother for a drink in the pub?

Only if you live with your brother, or you have formed a support bubble, can you meet him in the pub with no restrictions.

If you live separately and are not in a bubble you can only sit in a pub garden and cannot go indoors together.

If you live in Tier 3 you cannot meet anyone outside your household indoors or outdoors.

If I live in Tier 2 can I go to a restaurant to see friends in Tier 1?

Although the restrictions in Tier 1 still allow households to mix indoors our outdoors in a group of six, if you have come from a tier with stricter restrictions you must stick to them.

So therefore you can travel to meet them still but can only sit outside at a restaurant together – and remember to bring a mask if you need to pop to the loo, and that you will be kicked out at 10pm.

Are schools and universities still open?

Yes. In all tiers schools, universities and places of education remain open.

The Government has been consistent in its message that schools will remain open, unless we return to a full national lockdown, which Boris Johnson does not want.

Can I have a plumber around to fix my boiler?

Yes, you are allowed to have tradespeople come into your home in any tier as long as they are there for work.

But it is advised that they stick to the distancing rules and wear masks.

Can I car share?

In most cases it is advised against, as it can be dificult to socially distance in cars.

In Tier 2 and 3 you should avoid sharing a car with anyone not in your household or support bubble.

Can I still go on holiday?

You can, but the rules vary depending on which tier you are living in.

If you already on holiday when rules change in your hometown, you do not need to come home and can carry on your trip worry free.

Those in Tier 1 can still go on holiday with a group of up to six people from six households and stay together, as long as they practice distancing.

Those in Tier 2 can only go on holiday and stay with those in their household or support bubble. You can stay in a hotel with people outside your household but you shouldn't share rooms and should be outside when mixing with them.

Those in Tier 3 can only go away with their household or bubble, but have been encouraged not to travel out of their area.

Can I go on holiday to Wales or Scotland?

You can certainly try, but as Wales has brought in fines for anyone crossing the border from a coronavirus hotspot, and Scotland has suggested it may follow suit, it is probably wise to stick to holidays in England for now.

Those in Tier 3 areas are advised to stay in those regions and not travel outside the area.

Should I use public transport?

You can still use public transport whatever tier you are living in – and you must wear a face mask.

However the Government continues to encourage people to reduce the number of journeys made where possible.

Instead they suggest walking or cycling if they can or avoiding busy travel times to keep distancing in place.

Those in Tier 3 are encouraged not to travel outside their area if possible. They are advised not to stay overnight in another area, and people from other areas are advised against overnight stays in Tier 3 spots.

Should I be working from home or in the office? 

You should be working from home where possible across all tiers.

However if you cannot do your job from home or your workplace has been made Covid safe then you can go to the office or place of work.

But everyone should stick to social distancing, wear masks where appropriate and keep washing their hands.


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