Tighter restrictions are expected for parts of England next week - the plans explained

Thursday, 8th October 2020, 11:27 am
Updated Thursday, 8th October 2020, 12:40 pm
Stricter measures are set to be put in place to stop the spread of the virus, including the possible closure of pubs and bars (Photo: Shutterstock)

Tighter restrictions are expected in parts of England next week, as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Stricter measures are set to be put in place to stop the spread of the virus, including the possible closure of pubs and bars. A three tier system for local lockdowns is also likely to be introduced by the government, which would see different parts of the country placed in different categories of restriction.

On Wednesday 7 October, the number of positive coronavirus cases in the UK rose by 14,162, with a further 70 deaths reported.

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What is the three tier system?

The tiered system would be linked to the case rate per 100,000 in each region. The new rules, which are expected to be announced by Monday 12 October, could see large parts of England in the highest tier, with pubs, restaurants and cafes closing.

Tier 1: Areas listed as ‘tier one’ would continue to adhere to restrictions currently in place, such as the rule of six and a maximum of 15 guests at weddings and civil partnership ceremoniesTier 2: The second tier would ask members of the public not to meet anyone outside their household in private dwellings, including gardens, and would also restrict care home visits to exceptional circumstances onlyTier 3: The third tier would require no social contact outside your own household in any setting, and restrictions on overnight stays away from home. Hospitality and leisure businesses would also have to close

It has been suggested that the three tier lockdown system could make it easier for the government to get additional resources to those areas where lockdown rules are most restrictive.

Tougher restrictions in Scotland

Scotland announced significant measures on 7 October, which will see all pubs and restaurants across central Scotland close, including in Glasgow and Edinburgh, from Friday 9 October.

Hospitality venues throughout the rest of Scotland will also have to shut at 6pm, and alcohol will also only be able to be served outdoors.

When asked if similar action could be taken in parts of England, Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, told Sky News that the government was "considering a range of different options.”

Mr Jenrick said, "We're trying to take a regional and proportionate approach and that means reviewing the passage of the virus in each part of the country.

"It is true that the virus is rising, in terms of the number of cases, quite significantly in the North West, in the North East and in a number of other cities like Nottingham.

"We are currently considering what the right action would be in those places and we'll make a conclusion on that as soon as we can."

What are the current restrictions in areas of the UK?

In England pubs, bars and restaurants currently have to close at 10pm, and are restricted to table service only.

Table bookings of more than six are not allowed, and groups can't mingle, with face masks compulsory for bar staff and non-seated customers, shop workers and waiting staff.

People are also being advised to work from home wherever possible.

Only 15 people are allowed to attend weddings or civil partnerships in England, with social distancing measures in place, but funerals can take place with up to 30 people attending.

In some areas of England, including parts of the North East and North West, local restrictions are in place which ban households from mixing in any indoor setting.

Residents in Halton, Liverpool City Region, (Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens), Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland and Sunderland must not meet anyone outside their household or bubble in any indoor setting, including private homes and gardens.

In Scotland, you are not allowed to meet inside other people's homes across the whole of the country. However, up to six people from two different households can meet outdoors, including in private gardens, and there's no limit on the number of children under 12 who can meet or play together outdoors. Young people aged 12 to 18 are also exempt from the two household limit and can meet outdoors in groups of up to six.

In Northern Ireland, members of the public can no longer meet anyone who they don't live with inside their home, barring a few specific exceptions. Pubs, hotel bars and restaurants have to close at 11pm.

In Wales, pubs, cafes and restaurants must stop serving alcohol at 10pm, and pubs are required to provide table service only. Sales of alcohol from off-licences and supermarkets after 10pm are also not allowed.