- 1 What tier am I in?
- 2 Can I meet up with friends and family?
- 3 Can I move between tiers in England?
- 4 Can my children see their grandparents?
- 5 Can my children go on playdates?
- 6 What happened to support bubbles?
- 7 What about childcare?
- 8 What about couples who don’t live together?
- 9 Can I still do organised sport?
- 10 Who can still come to my house?
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What tier am I in?
Check the government’s online postcode checker on its website. Your local authority’s website will also have the exact details for your area.
Can I meet up with friends and family?
In tier 1 (medium alert level), groups of up to six people from multiple households can meet up, indoors and out.
In tier 2 (high alert level), you cannot meet people you don’t live with in any indoor setting unless they are part of your support or childcare bubble. You could sit in a beer garden though – people can still mix outdoors, but must follow the rule of six and social distance. In tiers 1 and 2, pubs, bars and restaurants are restricted to table service only and must close at 10pm.
In tier 3 (very high alert level), you cannot socialise with anybody outside your household or support bubble in any indoor setting or in any private garden. Pubs and bars are closed, unless they are serving substantial meals. They can only serve alcohol with meals. Casinos, betting shops, bingo halls and soft play centres will also close under the restrictions but gyms and leisure centres could remain open.
(The rules around gyms have caused some problems and remain unclear. Leaders on Merseyside, which is in tier 3, said the government gave them no choice but to close leisure centres earlier this week, but they remain open in Lancashire, which was placed in tier 3 on Friday. The decision means gyms will be open in places such as Chorley, but closed in St Helens – despite the two areas being only several miles apart. On Friday afternoon, a government spokesperson said: “The purpose of the very high level is to allow for local tailored interventions and they are determined on the basis of discussions with local authorities based on local evidence.”)
Across the three tiers, meeting in larger groups (with certain exceptions) is against the law and risks fines of up to £6,400.
Can I move between tiers in England?
It is not entirely clear, but it appears to be against the recommendations. The government is advising people not to travel to “any part of the country subject to higher local Covid alert levels”, with some exceptions: if you need to travel for work, education, to access youth services or because of caring responsibilities.
In tier 2, you can travel to hotels in or outside your area, but only with people in your household or support bubble.
People should not travel in or out of tier 3 areas, unless for the exemptions above. Travel to a very high alert area is permitted for a wedding or funeral. People in lower risk areas can travel through high risk areas “as part of a longer journey”.
If people in tier 3 are planning on going abroad they “should look at the rules in place at your destination, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice and the current travel corridor list”.
If you have a support bubble (which allows a person in a single household to team up with another household and be considered as part of that household) that crosses tiers, things are more complicated. The government advice is to form a bubble with a household that lives locally. However, “caring responsibilities” are an exception for the travel rules – even in very high risk areas. Which means that if you have formed a support bubble with an elderly relative you would be able to visit them.
Can my children see their grandparents?
In tier 1 areas, yes, as long as the gathering follows the rule of six.
In tiers 2 and 3, they can see them indoors if they are part of your support or childcare bubble. In tier 2, they can see them outdoors in private gardens, but in tier 3, only in public open spaces.
Can my children go on playdates?
If you are in tier 1 and the number of people gathering does not exceed six, yes. But in tiers 2 and 3, even though children will be spending all day together in school, they cannot meet indoors. In tier 2, they could still play in a private garden, but in tier 3, it would have to be in a public park or a playground.
What happened to support bubbles?
Support bubbles are still in place. Support bubbles are allowed between a single-adult household and one other household of any size. People in a support bubble can think of themselves as being in a single household with their bubble.
What about childcare?
In all three tiers you can still use early years and childcare settings, including childminders, after-school clubs and nannies. Children can still get informal childcare from people in their support or childcare bubble.
What about couples who don’t live together?
Before the tier system the government said people in “established” relationships did not need to socially distance. But it appears this exemption no longer applies for people living in tiers 2 and 3, where mixing indoors and overnight stays are not permitted, unless the other person is in your support or childcare bubble.
Can I still do organised sport?
In tier 1, yes, both indoors and outdoors as long as current rules are followed.
In tiers 2 and 3, you can take part in sport and physical activity outdoors but organised indoor exercise classes for adults are banned unless you’re from the same household. Disability and youth sport teams can still meet indoors. In tier 3, “additional restrictions may apply depending on discussions between central and local government” – you can find out what additional measures apply in your area.
Who can still come to my house?
People who are there to work. The government restrictions state: “A tradesperson can go into a household without breaching the limit, if they are there for work.”
Nannies and childminders would fall under this category, but are also still allowed under the childcare rules.
Source: The Guardian
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