Covid winter plan – IN FULL: Tiers, overnight stays and social bubbles explained | UK | News (Reports)

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has outlined the new coronavirus measures after the second lockdown – dubbed lockdown 2.0 – ends next month. Speaking from his Downing Street home via video link, Mr Johnson revealed a return to the three-tier system once lockdown ends on December 2.

However, this tier system has been bolstered, with tighter rules and a complete change in some guidelines.

Further plans for how Britons can see family over the Christmas period are expected in the coming days.

Mr Johnson told the Commons on Monday: “We all want some kind of Christmas, we need it, we certainly feel we deserve it. But what we don’t want is to throw caution to the winds and allow the virus to flare up again, forcing us all back into lockdown in January.

“So to allow families to come together, while minimising the risk, we’re working with the devolved administrations on a special time-limited Christmas dispensation, embracing the whole of the United Kingdom.”

Read More: China coronavirus panic: Hundreds of flights cancelled

Covid winter plan - IN FULL: Boris Johnson

Covid winter plan – IN FULL: Tiers, overnight stays and social bubbles explained (Image: PA/GETTY)

So what does the new Tier system look like? Express.co.uk breaks it down.

Much like before the second lockdown, across England, local authorities will be placed into one of three tiers.

Mr Johnson explained the tier system will be in place until at least the end of March 2021. 

Tier 3 is the strictest, while Tier 1 is the least restrictive of these measures.

Previously, the tier system did reduce the R-rate, but not enough to bring it below one.

So, the tiers have been toughened in order to leave lockdown but still bring the R-rate down.

Covid winter plan - IN FULL: Boris Johnson press conference

Covid winter plan – IN FULL: Mr Johnson appeared via video link as he is self-isolating (Image: PA)

The Government’s COVID-19 Winter Plan states the virus “continues to pose a very real threat to the UK”.

Across all tiers nurseries, schools and colleges will remain open until the usual end of the term.

In a drastic change to the previous rules, areas in Tier 1 will be asked to reduce travel and work from home where possible.

Another huge difference to rules before lockdown, some sporting and live events will open their doors to the public at 50 percent capacity or 4,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors.

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The tiers each area will be placed into will be announced on Thursday after further Government discussion.

These tiers will be uniform, and areas will not be able to negotiations on specific measures.

Which tier an area will be placed under is based on the following criteria:

  • Case rates in all age groups
  • Case rates in the over 60s
  • The rate at which cases are rising or falling
  • The number of cases as a percentage of tests taken
  • Pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy.

Covid winter plan - IN FULL: Medium alert level

Covid winter plan – IN FULL: The tier system has been toughened following the second lockdown (Image: PA)

Tier 1 rules

Those living in Tier 1 areas will be allowed to meet a maximum of six friends or family outdoors or indoors.

Bars, pubs and restaurants will be able to open but must operate table service only. These venues also must stop taking orders at 10pm, and then must close at 11pm.

Retail and personal care – such as hairdressers and beauty salons – are permitted to reopen, and indoor entertainment venues – such as cinemas, theatres, bowling alleys and casinos – will be allowed to stay open.

In Tier 1, the stay home message is lifted however people will still be encouraged to minimise travel and work from home where possible.

Overnight stays will be permitted if they are limited to a support bubble, household or up to six people.

Places of worship can reopen, but people must not interact with more than six people.

Weddings can go ahead, with 15 guests, increasing to 30 for funerals.

Classes and organised adult sport can take place outdoors but must follow the rule of six indoors.

Large events including sport and live performances will be open to the public but limited to 50 percent capacity or 4,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors.

Covid winter plan - IN FULL: Tiers explained

Covid winter plan – IN FULL: Areas across England will be placed into one of three tiers (Image: EXPRESS)

Tier 2 rules

In Tier 2 areas, there will be no mixing of households indoors aside from support bubbles allowed, with a maximum gathering of six permitted outdoors.

Pubs and bars will remain closed unless they are operating as restaurants, with alcohol only served as part of a “substantial meal” until 10pm, before venues must close at 11pm.

All retail, leisure and personal care services are able to reopen.

People will be encouraged to reduce the number of journeys they make and to avoid travelling into Tier 3 areas, except for reasons of education or work.

Overnight stays will only be allowed for those in the same household or support bubble and accommodation can open.

Places of worship can reopen, but people must not interact with anyone outside their household or support bubble.

In total 15 guests will be allowed at weddings and civil partnerships, increasing to 30 for funerals.

Classes and organised sport can take place outdoors but not indoors if there is any interaction between two different households.

Large events including sport and live performances will be open to the public but limited to 50 percent capacity or 2,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors.

Tier 3 rules

Groups of six will only be able to meet in outdoor public spaces, such as parks and sports courts – but not in private gardens.

Hospitality will be closed except for takeaway in these areas.

Indoor entertainment venues – such as cinemas, theatres, bowling alleys and casinos – will remain closed.

People will be told to avoid travelling out of the area other than where necessary and to reduce the number of journeys.

No overnight stays will be permitted outside the local area, except for work or education, with accommodation to stay closed.

Weddings and civil partnerships can resume but with only 15 guests, increasing to 30 for funerals. However, wedding receptions are banned in Tier 3.

Places of worship can reopen, but people must not interact with anyone outside their household or support bubble.

Classes and organised adult sport can take place outdoors, but people are advised to avoid higher-risk contact activity.

Elite and live sport will still be banned but drive-in events will be permitted.

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