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Tier 3 lockdown rules in England: latest coronavirus restrictions explained

Martin Belam
·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

The government has announced details of the new three-tier system that will come into effect in when the four-week national lockdown across England ends on 2 December.

Non-essential shops in all areas can reopen, as can gyms, hairdressers and other personal care businesses, with the formal instruction to stay at home coming to an end. The “rule of six” will again apply for outdoor gatherings in all areas.

Places of worship will be able to open and weddings will be allowed within local restrictions.

The system has been criticised in parliament by the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, saying that introducing a three-tier system without an effective test and trace system is a “major risk”.

The hospitality industry has also warned the stricter system of tiers will “ruin Christmas” for struggling restaurants, hotels and pubs.

Watch: How England's new three-tier COVID system will work

Here are the rules in tier 3:

Hospitality venues will have to close, except for delivery and takeaway service. In tier 3, hotels and other accommodation providers must also close, except for specific work purposes where people cannot return home. Outdoor sports, including golf and tennis, will be allowed to continue in all tiers, as will amateur team sports such as football. Unlike the first two tiers, spectators will not be allowed to watch sport in tier 3.

How was it before?

In the most restrictive tier, known as the “very high” alert level that was endured by vast swathes of the north of England, mixing socially indoors between households – unless a support bubble was in place – was banned. Under baseline measures hospitality venues serving substantial food could remain open until 10pm. Up to six people from different households could socialise outdoors in public spaces, such as parks, beaches or public gardens.

  • Due to the unprecedented and ongoing nature of the coronavirus outbreak, this article is being regularly updated to ensure that it reflects the current situation as best as possible. The most recent update will have been made at the date shown at the top of the article. Any significant corrections made to this or previous versions of the article will continue to be footnoted below in line with Guardian editorial policy.

Watch: What will matchdays be like for fans from December 2?