Hours after Greater Manchester had Tier 3 restrictions imposed on it, South Yorkshire has confirmed it will have England’s most severe coronavirus restrictions in place from Saturday.
The Government moved to a three-tier lockdown system earlier this month. Officially called the Local Covid Alert Levels, it has placed every village, town, city and region into one of three tiers.
Liverpool was the first area of England to be hurled into Tier 3 restrictions on October 14, and they were joined a few days later by Lancashire.
Now, Manchester has been plunged into the most severe level, with restrictions taking hold from Friday, and South Yorkshire will follow suit 24 hours later.
Local leaders, Public Health England and the Joint Biosecurity Centre will work out when areas will move from one tier to another. Previously they have looked at the growth rate of the disease and number of people in hospital, as well as infection levels.
Measures will be reviewed every four weeks, the three-tiered system expected to remain in place for six months.
A new online postcode checker has been provided by the Government, allowing people to check their local restrictions.
Tier 3 lockdown rules
The government will set a baseline of the minimum measures that need to be in place in any areas that go into Tier 3.
These measures include:
Pubs and bars will close unless they can operate as a restaurant and serve substantial meals. Alcohol can only be served if it’s with a main lunchtime or evening meal. Bags of crisps or nuts are unlikely to count as a substantial meal.
Officials in Liverpool confirmed to the Mirror that pubs that serve substantial meals will be allowed to remain open in the city.
People living in an area that goes into Tier 3 cannot mix inside at all, including private homes or any kind of hospitality or ticketed venue. The same goes for meeting in private domestic and beer gardens.
The only place people can see friends, family and anyone else outside their household or social bubble is in an open public space, such as a park, forest or beach. In these areas, the Rule of Six still applies.
Support bubbles remain in the top tier, allowing people to meet those who are part of their extended household.
Wedding receptions are not allowed in towns and cities placed into Tier 3 restrictions.
The number of journeys inside a Tier 3 area should be kept to a minimum.
Travel in and out of the area will be advised against, but not illegal, with the government advising against leaving or entering ‘very high’ risk areas.
However travelling for work, education, accessing youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if they are in transit, is allowed.
The Government also says overnight stays in other parts of the country should also be avoided.
That means anyone living in a Tier 3 area shouldn’t stay elsewhere, and people from other parts of the country should stay over in a ‘very high’ risk town.
Bespoke additional measures
The Government’s chief scientists – including Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance – have said that the baseline measures on their own would not be enough to get the all-important R-rate down to an acceptable level.
However, each area can negotiate additional measures on top of the baseline.
South Yorkshire: Soft play centres, betting shops, casinos and adult gaming centres will be closed. Leisure centres and gyms will remain open, however organised fitness classes will not take place while Tier 3 restrictions are in place.
Manchester: Betting shops, casinos, bingo halls, adult gaming centres, and soft play areas will all close in Greater Manchester while the region is in Tier 3.
Lancashire: Adult gaming industry, casinos, bingo halls, bookmakers and betting shops and soft play areas are closed in Lancashire as well. Care boot sales are not permitted.
Gyms and leisure centres can remain open.
Liverpool: After initially being told they must close, gyms and leisure centres in the Liverpool region will be able to reopen later this week.
Soft play areas can remain open, and car boot sales can continue.
As in Greater Manchester and Lancashire, adult gaming centres, casinos, bingo halls, bookmakers and betting shops are also closed.
Tier 3 shielding
For anyone in a ‘very high’ risk area who was previously shielding, extra advice has been issued.
People are encouraged to work from home and stay at home as much as possible, only traveling when it’s essential. However, people can still go to work if that’s not possible, and children can still go to school.
Shopping trips should be significantly reduced and replaced with online deliveries or people in your household, support bubble or volunteers collecting food and medicines where possible.
Those who had to shield before are also encouraged to go outside for exercise.
A small number of people may need additional support, and are advised to contact their local authority if they need assistance.
Tier 3 locations
The Liverpool City Region was the first to be handed the most severe rules.
On Friday they were joined by Lancashire, with the entire county being placed into Tier 3 restrictions.
The specific areas are:
South Yorkshire (from 00.01 on Saturday)
Greater Manchester (from 00.01 on Friday)
- Blackburn with Darwen
- Ribble Valley
- South Ribble
- West Lancashire
Liverpool City Region
- St Helens