Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a new three tier system of local lockdown measures in a bid to curb the increasing rise in coronavirus cases across the UK.
And all of Greater Manchester will start in Tier 2 – escaping the toughest sanctions of Tier 3 which will see pubs and bars ordered to shut.
For the large part, Tier 2 means the local lockdown measures that have already been in place across most of the region throughout the summer will stay the same.
The main change is actually a loosening of the current restrictions for Greater Manchester, meaning you can now meet other households in outdoor settings, including private gardens, as long as you follow the rule of six – i.e. that there are no more than six people in your group.
It also means all ten of the boroughs in the region are now under the same rules and restrictions of Tier 2, rather than different measures in different areas.
It comes after major representations were made by local leaders urging the Government NOT to order the closure of pubs and restaurants in Greater Manchester.
Boris Johnson said the new three tier system aims to avoid another national lockdown, while pushing the R rate down and keeping schools and the economy open as much as is possible.
But he did stress that conversations were continuing with leaders in Greater Manchester and that if coronavirus rates continued to rise across the region it could yet be placed in Tier 3.
Here’s what the new tier system will mean from Wednesday, October 14th.
Tier 1 – medium – what it means
This is for areas deemed at a medium alert level.
These are the baseline restrictions already in force across the UK – following social distancing rules and following the “Rule of six” – which means you must not meet in a group of more than six people in any setting, indoors or outdoors. There remains a 10pm curfew on all hospitality settings.
Tier 2 – high – what it means
This is for areas with a higher level of infections where additional restrictions are in place. The Tier 2 rules reflect the interventions already in place in local lockdowns to reduce household transmission by banning any mixing of households in any indoor setting. In this tier:-
- You must not socialise with anybody you do not live with, or who is in your social bubble, in any indoor setting. However, this does not apply to workplaces and school settings.
- The rule of six will apply in outdoor settings – including private gardens – meaning you can meet outdoors with other households as long as there is no more than six people in the group.
- Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law.
- Hospitality venues must close between 10pm and 5am, although venues can sell takeaway food after 10pm as long as it is through delivery service, click and collect or drive-thru.
- You can continue to travel to venues or amenities that are open, for work or for education, but it is advised to reduce the number of journeys you take if possible.
- Weddings can take place with up to 15 guests, and funerals with up to 30 guests.
Areas placed into Tier 2
Greater Manchester (all boroughs), Warrington, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester were among the first areas placed into this restriction, but now London, Essex, York are among many other areas across the UK added to the list.
Tier 3 – very high – what it means
This is where the coronavirus rates are rising the most rapidly and means there is a very high alert level. In this tier:
- You must not socialise with anybody you do not live with (or are in a social bubble with) in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events.
- You must not socialise in a group of more than six in a public outdoor space such as a park or beach.
- Pubs and bars will be ordered to close – but restaurants and pubs serving food can stay open but can only serve alcohol as part of a meal.
- Travel outside of the local area is advised against, but not made illegal at this stage.
- You must avoid staying overnight in an area not in Tier 3, and people from other tiers are advised not to stay overnight in Tier 3 areas.
- Weddings can still go ahead with up to 15 guests, but wedding receptions are not permitted.
- Funerals can be attended by up to 30 guests, and up to 15 at wakes and related ceremonies.
- In each area the Government will work with local authorities on any additional measures that need to be taken. It could include further restrictions on hospitality, leisure and personal care settings. But schools and universities and retail will remain open.
Areas placed into Tier 3
Boris Johnson announced that the Liverpool City Region is the first area to placed in Tier 3 from Wednesday 14th October – and that gyms, leisure centres, casinos and betting shops will also be closed in this area to prohibit social mixing. This region includes Liverpool, Halton, Wirral, Knowsley, Sefton and St Helen’s.
From Friday October 16th, Lancashire was also placed into Tier 3, although under their extra local restrictions gyms will NOT close, but casinos, betting shops, bookmakers and indoor play areas must close. Car boot sales have also been banned.