Skip to content
Northern Powerhouse European Union

Local COVID alert levels – what restrictions apply in your area?

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, a strengthened tier system will be introduced in England from December 2. Find out what you can and can’t do if you live, work or travel in each local COVID alert level.

This page was updated on 24 November 2020.

 The national lockdown across England remains in place until December 2. Visit our dedicated page to view a summary of the measures. 

Find out the latest COVID-19 restrictions in England 

Guide to the latest national restrictions

The following guidance is valid from Wednesday 2nd December and will replace the current national restrictions.

 

On November 23, the Prime Minister published the government's COVID-19 Winter Plan, which set out a roadmap to move away from lockdown and restart the economy, whilst keeping people safe from the risk of coronavirus.

Local restrictions combined with solutions provided by scientific advances in vaccination, treatment and testing will enable life to gradually return closer to normal. 

To standardise local restrictions, England will move back into a regional, tiered approach from December 2. To suppress infections and protect NHS capacity the new tier system will will be strengthened. The tiers will be split into – medium, high and very high and tiering allocations will be reviewed every 14 days

Find out what restrictions are in place if you live in an area with a:

The tier for each individual region will be announced on Thursday, December 26.

Below is a clear table displaying each tier and the guidelines. You can find further information on the tiers here. 

Sign-up to receive GC C19 updates

Summary of key measures

Tier 1 - Medium alert level

Business and venue closures and restrictions

• Businesses required to remain closed by law
(i.e. nightclubs) 
• Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 11 pm
and 5 am, provide table service only if they serve alcohol and stop taking orders after 10pm 
• For businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises delivery, click-and-collect or drive-thru can continue after 10 pm
• Hospitality venues in ports, on transport services and in motorway service areas do not need to close at 11 pm
• Casinos, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades
and others must also close at 11pm. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can remain open beyond 11pm, but only if the performance started before 10pm

Going to work 

• Employees able to work from home should continue to do so
• Where homeworking is not possible, employers should ensure their workplaces are COVID-safe 

Social contact restrictions

• You must not meet in groups larger than 6 in
any setting, indoors or outdoors (other than single households or support bubbles)
• Informal childcare can be provided via childcare bubbles
• You can visit friends or family in care homes with COVID-secure arrangements (i.e. substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits)

Travel restrictions

• Walk or cycle where possible or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport
• Avoid travel to or overnight stays in Tier 3 areas

Other

• Non-essential retail, personal care, gyms and the wider leisure sector are open
• Early year settings, schools, colleges, universities are open
• Places of worship are open subject to the rule
of 6
• Weddings and funerals can take place with restrictions on the number of attendees (up to 15 and 30 attendees respectively)
• Exercise classes and organised sport can take place outdoors, or indoors if the rule
of 6 is followed (exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes, and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing)
• Spectator sport, live performances and business events can resume indoors and outdoors with capacity limits and social distancing
• Wear face coverings in mandated settings

Tier 2 - High alert level

Business and venue closures and restrictions

• Businesses required to remain closed by law (i.e. nightclubs) 
• Pubs and bars must close. These can only
remain open when operating as a restaurant (serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime
or evening meal).
• Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol as part of a substantial meal

• Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises which are allowed to remain open must close between 11 pm and 5 am, provide table service only if they serve alcohol and stop taking orders after 10pm 
• For businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises delivery, click-and-collect or drive-thru can continue after 10 pm
• Hospitality venues in ports, on transport services and in motorway service areas do not need to close at 11 pm
• Casinos, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades
and others must also close at 11pm. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can remain open beyond 11pm, 
but only if the performance started before 10pm

Going to work 

• Employees able to work from home should continue to do so
• Where homeworking is not possible, employers should ensure their workplaces are COVID-safe 

Social contact restrictions

• You must not meet with anyone outside your household or support bubble in any indoor
setting (i.e. in private homes or in a public space)
• Informal childcare can be provided via childcare bubbles
• You must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside (in a garden or other public space)
• You can visit friends or family in care homes with COVID-secure  arrangements (i.e. substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits)

Travel restrictions

• Reduce the number of journeys where possible
• Walk or cycle where possible or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport
• Avoid travel to or overnight stays in Tier 3 areas
• C
ontinue to follow tier 2 rules when you travel
to a tier 1 area

Other

• Non-essential retail, personal care, gyms
and the wider leisure sector are open 
• Early year settings, schools, colleges,
 universities are open
• Places of worship remain open (cannot interact with anyone outside household or bubble in
indoor settings)
• Weddings and funerals can take place with restrictions on the number of attendees (up to 15 and 30 attendees respectively)
• Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only
be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with (exceptions for
indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes, and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing)

• spectator sport, live performances and business events can now resume inside and outside with capacity limits and social distancing
• Wear face coverings in mandated settings

Tier 3 - Very High alert level

Business and venue closures and restrictions

• Businesses required to remain closed by law (i.e. nightclubs)  
• All hospitality (bars, pubs, shisha venues, restaurants, cafes must close except for delivery, takeaway and drive-through
• Hotels and other accommodation providers must close (except for specific exemptions, including people staying for work /education purposes or where they cannot return home) 
• Indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close (indoor play centres and areas, cinemas, theatres and concert halls, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, amusement arcades and adult gaming centres)
• Indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must close
• Saunas and steam rooms should close
• Leisure and sports facilities can remain open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not take place

 

Going to work 

• Employees able to work from home should continue to do so
• Where homeworking is not possible, employers should ensure their workplaces are COVID-safe 

Social contact restrictions

• You must not meet with anybody outside your household or support bubble:

     - indoors in any setting 
     - in a private garden or in most outdoor public venues

• You may continue to meet people you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) in groups of 6 or less in certain outdoor public spaces including parks, beaches, the countryside, a public garden, outdoor sports courts and facilities, and playgrounds
• Informal childcare can be provided via childcare bubbles
• You can visit friends or family in care homes with COVID-secure arrangements (i.e. substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits)

Travel restrictions

• Reduce the number of journeys where possible
• Walk or cycle where possible or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport
• Avoid travelling outside the ‘Very High’ alert area you are in other than for essential reasons like work, education, accessing youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if you are in transit)
• Avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if you live in a ‘Very High’ alert area

Other

• Non-essential retail, personal care, gyms and the wider leisure sector are open
• Early year settings, schools, colleges, universities remain open
• Places of worship remain open (cannot interact with anyone outside household or bubble)
• Weddings and funerals can take place with restrictions on the number of attendees (up to 15 and 30 attendees respectively)
• Wedding receptions are not permitted
• Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. Group exercise activity and sports indoors should not take place unless with household or bubble (
exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s which can continue)
• Large events should not take place. Drive-in events are allowed
• Wear face coverings in mandated settings

Note: From December 2, support bubbles will be expanded. You will be able to form a support bubble with another household if one any of the following apply to you:

  • you are the only adult in your household (any other members of the household having been under 18 on 12 June 2020) or are the only adult who does not have a disability that needs continuous care
  • you have a child under 1 (regardless of how many other adults are in the household)
  • you have a child under 5 with a disability that needs continuous care (regardless of how many other adults are in the household)

Additional Resources

Poster Poster

Medium COVID-19 Alert Level

Download poster
Poster Poster

High COVID-19 Alert Level

Download poster
Poster Poster

Very High COVID-19 Alert Level

Download poster
Restructure your business Restructure your business

Protect your business from financial distress and restructure for long-term business resilience

Read more
Recover and Grow Recover and Grow

Strengthen your strategic and operational capabilities to bounce back from the crisis successfully and grow

Read more
Business support local to you Business support local to you

Find the latest guidance for your area through your Local Authority.

Read more

More information is available on the UK Government’s Coronavirus Business Support website. For more personalised advice call us on: 0161 237 4128 or email us at: BGH@growthco.uk

 

The information provided is meant as a general guide only rather than advice or assurance. GC Business Growth Hub does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information, and professional guidance should be sought on all aspects of business planning and responses to the Coronavirus. Use of this guide and toolkit is entirely at the risk of the user. Any hyperlinks from this document are to external resources not connected to the GC Business Growth Hub, and The Growth Company is not responsible for the content within any hyperlinked site.

Share this post