England's lockdown rules: How the new three-tier system works

Boris Johnson has set new coronavirus rules for England as the country nears the end of the fire freeze.

The prime minister confirmed that England’s lockdown will end on December 2 and that shops, restaurants and thousands of pubs will be allowed to reopen.

Speaking to the House of Commons on Monday afternoon, Mr Johnson said the country will revert to a tiered system, but restrictions will be tougher than in the months leading up to England’s lockdown.

The rule of six will also return, meaning people can meet up to six others, including children, unless the rules are stricter on some level.

The whole system will run through March, but levels are revised every 14 days in each area.

Collective worship, small weddings, and outdoor sports can also be resumed.

One of the big changes is the 10pm curfew, Mr Johnson explained that bars now have to close their shops at 11pm, with the last orders at 10pm.

Another announcement on which areas are in which levels is expected Thursday, and an announcement at Christmas is scheduled for Tuesday.

Keep up to date with the latest coronavirus data where you live:

Here are the new tier rules, such as explained in TheMirror.

Level 1

Social contact: All social gatherings inside and out fall under the ‘rule of six’. That means up to six people from up to six households can get together, but the six person limit includes children and babies. You still have to obey the rules of wearing masks and social distance.

Bubbles: Two households can form a ‘support bubble’ if one of them has only one adult; or a ‘childcare bubble’ if one of them has a child under the age of 13. There is now also a new exemption that allows a multi-adult household to form a bubble of support anyway, if that household has a child under one, or a child with care needs under five. Being in a bubble allows you to act like you are all in one household.

Pubs and restaurants: Catering establishments are only allowed to serve table service and call last orders at 10 PM, although people don’t have to leave until 11 PM.

Schools, universities and childcare: Stay open in all circumstances, but universities should allow for wider restrictions in the area.

Travel and holidays: You should avoid travel whenever possible, but vacations are allowed.

Work: The advice is to work from home if you can.

Weddings and Funerals: 15 guests can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions. Funerals can have up to 30 mourners, with only 15 people allowed at the vigil.

Stores: All stores – including non-essential stores – can remain open.

Gyms, swimming pools, hairdressers and ‘personal care’ (eg nail studios): These can remain open.

Cinemas, bingo, bowling, soft play and other indoor entertainment: These can remain open.

Sport: Organized indoor sports and exercise classes can continue, subject to a rule of six.

Spectator sports: Allowed outdoors with a maximum audience size of either 50% stadium occupancy or 4,000 spectators, whichever is less. Allowed indoors with 1,000 spectators or 50% occupancy, whichever is less.

Mass events, theaters and conferences: Allowed indoors with 1,000 spectators or 50% occupancy, whichever is less.

Religious services: You can continue as long as the subgroup you are in the room with complies with the social gathering rules for your level.

Driving lessons and tests: Can continue.

What do you think about proposals to celebrate Christmas during the pandemic:

Level 2

Social contact: You can’t socialize with anyone indoors unless they are from your household or from your support bubble. This applies at home or in a public environment. Outside, a rule of six limits applies.

Bubbles: Two households can form a ‘support bubble’ if one of them has only one adult; or a ‘childcare bubble’ if one of them has a child under the age of 13. There is now also a new exemption that allows a multi-adult household to form a bubble of support anyway, if that household has a child under one, or a child with care needs under five. Being in a bubble allows you to act like you are all in one household.

Pubs and restaurants: Restaurants must close unless they serve food, and you can only buy alcohol if you also eat a “hearty meal”. They have to call last orders at 10pm although people don’t have to leave until 11pm.

Schools, universities and childcare: Stay open in all circumstances, but universities can learn more online.

Travel and holidays: You should avoid travel whenever possible, but vacations are allowed.

Work: The advice is to work from home if you can.

Weddings and Funerals: 15 guests can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions. Funerals can have up to 30 mourners, with only 15 people allowed at the vigil.

Stores: All stores – including non-essential stores – can remain open.

Gyms, swimming pools, hairdressers and ‘personal care’ (eg nail studios): These can remain open.

Cinemas, bingo, bowling, soft play and other indoor entertainment: These can remain open.

Sport: Organized indoor sports and exercise classes can take place outdoors, but not indoors if someone from different households interacts.

Spectator sports: Allowed outdoors with a maximum crowd of either 50% stadium occupancy or 2,000 spectators, whichever is less. Allowed indoors with 1,000 spectators or 50% occupancy, whichever is less.

Mass events, theaters and conferences: Allowed indoors with 1,000 spectators or 50% occupancy, whichever is less.

Religious services: You can continue as long as the subgroup you are in the room with complies with the social gathering rules for your level.

Driving lessons and tests: Can continue.

Level 3

Social contact: You can’t meet anyone socially unless they come from your household or support bubble, both indoors and outdoors such as private gardens, beer gardens, hospitality or ticket locations. However, the six-limit rule still applies in open outdoor areas, such as a park, forest, or beach.

Bubbles: Two households can form a ‘support bubble’ if one of them has only one adult; or a ‘childcare bubble’ if one of them has a child under the age of 13. There is now also a new exemption that allows a multi-adult household to form a bubble of support anyway, if that household has a child under one, or a child with care needs under five. Being in a bubble allows you to act like you are all in one household.

Pubs and restaurants: Catering establishments must close and can only remain open as a “click and collect” or pick-up service. This also applies to hotels. Drive-throughs can remain open.

Schools, universities and childcare: These remain open in all circumstances, but universities can learn more online.

Travel and holidays: You must limit travel outside of your local Tier 3 area, except travel for work and school. This is more of a guide than the law. People are not advised to stay overnight outside the area or to allow visitors from elsewhere to stay. This does not mean a vacation.

Work: The advice is to work from home if you can.

Weddings and Funerals: 15 guests can attend wedding ceremonies, but receptions are prohibited. Funerals can have up to 30 mourners, with only 15 people allowed at the vigil.

Stores: All stores – including non-essential stores – can remain open.

Gyms, swimming pools, hairdressers and ‘personal care’ (eg nail studios): These can remain open.

Cinemas, bingo, bowling, soft play and other indoor entertainment: These must close in Tier 3.

Sport: Organized indoor sports and exercise classes can continue to take place outdoors, but not indoors, unless it is just one household or bubble.

Spectator sports: Not allowed in Tier 3, indoors or outdoors.

Mass events, theaters and conferences: Not allowed.

Religious services: You can continue as long as the subgroup you are in the room with complies with the social gathering rules for your level.

Driving lessons and tests: Can continue.

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