Tier 3 rules: travel rules and shop restrictions explained and full list of areas in ‘Very High Alert’ levels of England’s new local lockdown system

London is being bumped up to Tier 3 from Wednesday 16 December, while Manchester remains under the toughest restrictions

Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 8:41 am

As of 2 December 2020, England was placed back under the regional, tiered system of coronavirus restrictions it saw ahead of the country’s second national lockdown.

Certain areas of England fell under the toughest tier of the revised three-tier system, as outlined by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in his announcement in Parliament on 26 November.

He revealed the tiers into which local authorities in England will be placed until at least mid-December, but ahad of the first review, it’s been announced that all 32 boroughs of London will move to Tier 3 from 12:01am on 16 December.

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The Government's website for people to determine which tier they will be in following lockdown crashed due to the volume of people attempting to access it (Photo: Trevor Adams - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Very few areas have placed into Tier 1, with “most” of the country falling under the second category.

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Covid Tiers: which areas of England are in Tier 1, 2 and 3 after lockdown

Here is everything you need to know.

What do the new tiers look like?

(Image: JPIMedia)

Areas in Tier 1 are subject to the 10pm pub curfew, though customers will be given an extra hour to finish their food and drinks; last orders must still be called at 10pm.

In Tier 2, pubs are only be able to serve alcohol as part of a “substantial meal”, and customers must stay within their household groups. This rule previously only applied in Tier 3.

Outside drinkers may also have to have a meal under the changes, and households will only be allowed to mix outdoors.

As for the highest level, pubs, bars and restaurants in Tier 3 will have to close and will only be allowed to serve alcohol or meals as takeaway or delivery only. Households and bubbles will also not be allowed to mix indoors or outdoors until the Christmas break.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced the tiers into which local authorities in England will be placed until mid-December (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Indoor entertainment, hotels and other accommodation will also have to close in Tier 3 areas – cinemas will only be allowed to reopen for areas in Tier 1 and 2, and outdoor and indoor sports venues will only be able to welcome a “limited number” of spectators to events in the first two tiers.

Non-essential shops will likely stay open in all three tiers, along with hairdressers and gyms.

Areas placed in Tier 3 will be offered support from NHS Test and Trace and the Armed Forces to deliver a six-week rapid community testing programme, making use of rapid lateral flow tests which give results within an hour.

For more information on the incoming tiers, head to the Government’s website

The new tiers at a glance

Across all tiers:

- People can leave their homes for any purpose and can socialise in outdoor places, subject to the rule of six

- Collective worship and weddings can resume

- Shops and wider leisure facilities including gyms can reopen

New Tier 1 measures:

- People should work from home wherever possible

- Last orders at hospitality venues at 10pm, with curfew extended to 11pm

New Tier 2 measures:

- Alcohol can only be served at hospitality venues as part of a substantial meal

- Last orders at hospitality venues at 10pm, with curfew extended to 11pm

New Tier 3 measures:

- Bars, restaurants and all hospitality venues will remain closed, except for takeaway and delivery

- Indoor entertainment and hotels will remain closed

Which areas are under Tier 3?

Large swathes of the Midlands, North East and North West are in the most restrictive Tier 3.

The full list of areas subject to Tier 3 restrictions is as follows:

North East

- Hartlepool

- Middlesbrough

- Stockton-on-Tees

- Redcar and Cleveland

- Darlington

- Sunderland

- South Tyneside

- Gateshead

- Newcastle upon Tyne

- North Tyneside

- County Durham

- Northumberland

North West

- Greater Manchester

- Lancashire

- Blackpool

- Blackburn with Darwen

Yorkshire and The Humber

- The Humber

- West Yorkshire

- South Yorkshire

West Midlands

- Birmingham and Black Country

- Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

- Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull

East Midlands

- Derby and Derbyshire

- Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

- Leicester and Leicestershire

- Lincolnshire

South East

- Slough (remainder of Berkshire is tier 2: High alert)

- Kent and Medway

South West

- Bristol

- South Gloucestershire

- North Somerset


- All 32 boroughs plus the City of London

East of England

- Basildon

- Braintree

- Brentwood

- Castle Point

- Chelmsford

- Epping Forest

- Harlow

- Broxbourne

- Hertsmere

- Three Rivers

- Watford

How can I check which tier I am in?

The Government has launched a postcode checker on its website for people to determine which tier they are in following lockdown.

gov.uk/find-coronavirus-local-restrictions allows you to enter your location to find out the latest advice.