England’s new tier system comes into place today (Wed 2 Dec), as the country emerges from its second country-wide lockdown.
However, the restrictions will differ slightly from those in place before England entered into its second lockdown on 5 November, with tighter measures depending on which tier an area falls under.
Tier systems at a glance
The stricter new system was approved by MPs in a vote in the House of Commons on Tuesday (1 Dec), despite 55 Tories voting against the plan.
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In all three tiers, non-essential shops, gyms, leisure centres, swimming pools, sports pitches, hairdressers, beauty salons, synagogues, churches and mosques are now allowed to open.
However, there will be different rules in place, depending on tier, especially when it comes to hospitality.
In Tier 2, only pubs serving substantial meals can serve alcohol, but in Tier 3, hospitality will close, except for delivery and takeaway.
In areas where pubs and restaurants are allowed to open, last orders will now be at 10pm, with drinkers allowed until 11pm to finish their drinks.
Indoor performances will also return in Tiers 1 and 2, but with reduced capacity in place.
When it comes to meeting friends and family, a maximum of six people can meet indoors or outdoors in Tier 1.
In Tier 2, there is no mixing of households indoors, and a maximum of six people can meet outdoors.
In Tier 3, household mixing is not allowed indoors, or in most outdoor places.
Exceptions to the above rules apply for support bubbles, which have now changed slightly, as of 2 December. Parents with babies under the age of one, or those who live with a child under five with a disability that needs continuous care, will be able to form a support bubble with another household.
The new tier rules in full
Tier 1 - Medium
Follow the rule of six if meeting indoors or outdoorsPubs and restaurants to shut at 11pmMinimising travel is encouraged and work from home where possibleLimited numbers of people allowed at sporting events and live performances
Tier 2 - High
No household mixing indoorsRule of six outdoorsPubs and restaurants to shut at 11pm - alcohol only served as part of substantial mealLimited numbers of people allowed at sporting events and live performances
Tier 3 - Very high
No household mixing indoorsNo household mixing outdoors in private gardens or hospitality venuesRule of six in outdoor public spaces, such as parksPubs and restaurants will be closed - except for takeaway/deliveryIndoor entertainment venues will be closedGuidance against travelling in and out of the area
You can find out which tier you come under, and therefore the restrictions in place for your area, by entering your postcode on the Government’s tier postcode checker page.