The Government has announced the new Three Tier System for Coronavirus Control, which will come into effect from tomorrow. This system aims to standardise and simplify local lockdown measures, with every part of England designated as one of the following three Alert zones:
Local COVID Alert Level – Medium
Covering most of the country – this will consist of the current national measures, which came into force on 25 September. For areas where national restrictions continue to be in place. This means:
- 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-through
- 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
Local COVID Alert Level – High
This is for areas with a higher level of infections. The ‘high’ alert level will reflect many current local interventions, but there will now be consistency across the country. This means the following 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
As a result of rising infection rates, Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire and a small area of High Peak will also move into this alert level. In these areas, the Rule of Six will continue to apply outdoors, in public spaces and private gardens.
Local COVID 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:
- 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
Local Authorities in the Liverpool City Region will move into the ‘very high’ alert level from Wednesday. In addition, to pubs and bars, in Merseyside gyms and leisure centres, betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos will also close. It was also announced that Government engagement with local leaders in the North West, the North East and Yorkshire & Humber was continuing, suggesting that these areas may also be designated as Very High Alert soon.
If you have any questions relating to your business regarding restrictions, welcoming visitors etc, you can contact Visit Herts for further information.