Coronavirus: What the rules are in every 'high' and 'very high' risk area

Ellena Cruse
·5-min read
AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

Boris Johnson on Monday unveiled a new "three-tiered" system of coronavirus restrictions in England, which Downing Street said would "simplify and standardise" the country's response to the outbreak.

The country will be divided into "medium", "high" and "very high" areas, with a sliding scale of lockdown measures aimed at curbing rising rates of Covid-19 infection.

Scroll down to see which areas have been placed at "high" and very high" alert levels. Under the rules:

Medium: Will cover a significant part of country and consists of the national measures that came into force last month, such as the rule of six and the 10pm hospitality curfew.

High: Aims to reduce household-to-household transmission by preventing all mixing between households indoors. The rule of six will still apply outside.

Most areas that are already under local restrictions are expected to automatically move to this level. Support bubbles will still be permitted.

Very High: These are the tightest measures for the areas of greatest concern, where transmission is rising "most rapidly". Measures will prohibit social mixing indoors and in private gardens.

Pubs and bars will be closed unless they can operate as a restaurant, it is understood. People will also be advised against travel in and out of the areas, according to PA.

Mr Johnson speaking in the Commons (PRU/AFP via Getty Images)
Mr Johnson speaking in the Commons (PRU/AFP via Getty Images)

Scroll down for a full break down of the new restrictions.

Which areas are at "high" and "very high" alert levels?

Alert Level: Medium

- All of England excluding regions placed on a higher level.

Alert Level: High

Cheshire: Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East Greater

Greater Manchester: Manchester , Bolton, Bury, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford , Wigan, Salford, Rochdale, Oldham

Warrington: Warrington

Derbyshire: High Peak - the wards of: Tintwistle, Padfield, Dinting, St John’s, Old Glossop, Whitfield, Simmondley, Gamesley, Howard Town, Hadfield South, Hadfield North

Lancashire: Lancashire, Blackpool, Preston, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley

West Yorkshire: Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale, Wakefield

South Yorkshire: Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster, Sheffield

North East: Newcastle, South Tyneside, North Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland, Durham, Northumberland

Tees Valley: Middlesborough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington, Hartlepool

West Midlands: Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Wolverhampton, Walsall

Leicester: Leicester, Oadby and Wigston

Nottingham: Nottinghamshire, Nottingham City

Alert Level: Very High

Liverpool City Region: Liverpool, Knowsley, Wirral, St Helens, Sefton, Halton.

What are the rules for each tier?

Alert Level - Medium

Under this level national restrictions are in place including wearing a face-covering in shops and on transport and abiding by the Rule of Six.

Alert Level - High

This is for areas with a higher level of infections. This means the following additional measures are in place:

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

  • Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am. Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru.

  • Schools, universities and places of worship remain open

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

  • 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 6, indoors or outdoors

Alert Level - Very High

This is for areas with a very high level of infections. The Government will set a baseline of measures for any area in this local alert level. Consultation with local authorities will determine additional measures.

The baseline means the below additional measures are in place:

  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place

  • People must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other space.

  • People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.

  • Pubs and bars must close, and can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant - which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.

  • Wedding receptions are not allowed

  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting, whether at home or in a public space. The Rule of Six applies in open public spaces like parks and beaches

  • People should try to avoid travelling outside the ‘Very High’ area they are in, or entering a ‘Very High’ area, other than for things like work, education, accessing youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if they are in transit.

  • People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are resident in a ‘Very High’ area, or avoid staying overnight in a ‘Very High’ area if they are resident elsewhere.

The new restrictions are set to come into force on Wednesday, subject to that vote and approval from Parliament.

The measures will be kept under constant review, including a four-week sunset clause for interventions in “very high” areas.

A postcode checker on will show which alert level applies in each area. The NHS Covid-19 app will tell users which tier the live in.

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