Tier 1 lockdown rules: What restrictions are there in areas placed under ‘medium’ alert?

Olivia Petter
·3-min read
 (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

On 12 October, prime minister Boris Johnson announced the implementation of a new three-tier system of local lockdown measures for England to help keep the spread of coronavirus under control.

Different parts of the country will be split up into “medium”, “high” or “very high” local alert areas under the new system, depending on case numbers and transmission rates in that region.

The measures come after the number of coronavirus cases in England began to rise and government advisers confirmed the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is higher now than it was when the UK went into lockdown in March.

On Thursday, it was announced that London would be moving from the “medium" alert (also known as tier 1) into the “high” alert, also known as Tier 2 from midnight on 16 October.

In order to find out which alert level you are in, you can use the postcode search available on the government website, while the NHS Covid 19 app will show which local alert level applies in which area.

The medium alert is the lowest level in the three-tier system and requires people to follow basic restrictions, such as the rule of six, the 10pm hospitality curfew and social distancing.

Here’s everything you need to know about what you can and cannot do in Tier 1.

Can I see friends and family?

In Tier 1, aka “medium” alert level, there are basic restrictions that limit the way you socialise with others. This means you must not socialise in groups larger than six, indoors or outdoors.

However, you can meet people in other households and you may visit pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues together, so long as you stay within a group of six or less.

When meeting friends and family you should still follow social distancing rules when you meet up and limit how many different people in total you see socially over any short period of time.

If you can, meet people outdoors where practical: this is safer because fresh air provides better ventilation.

Can I visit pubs and restaurants?

Yes, so long as you abide by the 10pm curfews that have been imposed across the hospitality sector.

However, 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-through.

Orders must be made via phone, online or by post. Hospitality venues in ports, on transport services and in motorway service areas do not need to close at 10pm, but must not serve alcohol after that time.

What about weddings and funerals?

In Tier 1, you can have wedding receptions with no more than 15 guests.

Funerals can also take place with no more than 30 guests.

Again this has to comply with social-distancing rules and your venue should be following Covid-secure measures.

Can I travel?

You should walk or cycle if you need to travel anywhere, but where this is not possible, you are advised to use public transport or drive.

If you are using public transport, be sure to wear a face covering.

Do I need to work from home?

Those who can work remotely are advised to do so.

However, public-sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary, the government website states.

Anyone else who cannot work from home should go to their place of work.

Ensuring you avoid rush hour if possible, and wear face coverings on public transport.

How are the restrictions being imposed?

If you break the restrictions, you can be fined £200 for the first offence, doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £6,400.

If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.

You can read more about the three alert levels on the government website here.

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