What does tier 2 lockdown mean – what are the rules?

London, York and Essex (excluding Southend) are among the latest areas in the UK to move into ‘high’ alert – tier two – restrictions this weekend.

The new three tier system, which aims to standardise local lockdown rules in England, was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday.

As part of his statement, the PM confirmed that there will be no national lockdown and that schools and universities will remain open, as well as retail businesses.  But he also emphasised that the UK ‘needs to go further’ in curbing the rapidly increasing infection rate.

But what does tier two lockdown mean and what are the new rules?

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There are three tiers in Boris Johnson’s new system:

  • Tier one – Medium risk – Where most of England sits at the moment
  • Tier two – High risk – Where any areas in local lockdown now sit
  • Tier three – Very high risk – the highest tier that certain areas will be escalated to if infection rates do not decline

Any area that was previously in a local lockdown immediately entered tier two of the lockdown rules system.

As of this weekend, another eight areas have moved into the ‘high risk’ band – London, York, Chesterfield, Essex (apart from Southend and Thurrock), North East Derbyshire, Erewash in Derbyshire, Elmbridge in Surrey, and Barrow in Furness, Cumbria.

Under these new standardised lockdown rules, anyone living in a tier two area will be prohibited from mixing with other households indoors.

However, you are allowed to mix outside as long as the national ‘rule of six’ is observed.

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Those following tier two lockdown rules are also asked to only make essential journeys and not travel too far outside the area in which they live unless it is absolutely necessary.

Pubs and bars can remain open in tier two lockdown, with the 10pm curfew in place, as can all businesses that are able to operate in a Covid-secure way.

However, you can only sit indoors at the pub or a restaurant with people from your household or support bubble.

Schools, universities and places of worship can also remain open, while weddings and funerals can continue to go ahead with the current limits on guests – 15 currently for wedding receptions and up to 30 for a funeral.

Gyms can also remain open, while organised indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place, as long as the ‘rule of six’ is followed.

Mr Johnson said that the three tier system will be kept ‘under review’ but areas in tier two of lockdown where transmission rate are rising most rapidly could risk being put into tier three of lockdown and even stricter restrictions imposed.

MORE: Which areas fall into the London tier 2 lockdown zone?

MORE: Can you travel in and out of London as it enters tier 2 lockdown?

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