what are the Covid restrictions for ‘high’ alert areas?

Despite these rules, the UK reached a daily record of Covid-19 infections on New Years Day, with the latest Government statistics recording 53,135 new lab-confirmed cases.

The Prime Minister stated in a press conference on December 30 that “we must face the reality that the sheer pace of this new variant requires us now to take even tougher action in some areas”.

Here’s what Tier 2 restrictions look like, and you can find out what they are. 

Read more: What are the tier rules?

What are high level/Tier 2 lockdown restrictions?

In Tier 2, households are not allowed to mix indoors apart from in support bubbles, while a maximum of six people can meet outdoors.

Pubs and bars must close unless operating as restaurants, meaning they must serve substantial meals and may only serve alcohol with such a meal. Only people of the same household can visit together under the Tier 2 restrictions.

A Government official has warned that pub-goers in Tier 2 must leave as soon as they have finished their ‘substantial meal’. He stated there should be “no lingering”, and visitors must leave “once their meal is finished”. 

The Local Government Association (LGA) has said that a “two hour turnaround” is the “maximum amount of time” needed for “a meal of multiple courses”. 

All hospitality is restricted to table service and last orders must be called at 10pm, although people are allowed to finish their food and drinks by 11pm.

Spectator sports can resume indoors and outdoors, but with limited numbers and social distancing in place.

Outdoors, 2,000 people, or 50 per cent of usual capacity, are allowed to attend. Indoors, the limit is 1,000 people. The public are allowed to attend performances and shows in theatres and other entertainment venues, at 50 per cent capacity indoors, limited to 1,000 attendees.

The other rules are:

  • All businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a Covid-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law, such as nightclubs and adult entertainment venues
  • Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 11pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru
  • Schools, universities and places of worship remain open (For the latter, groups attending religious services are expected to follow the rule of six – with larger families exempt.)
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees (15 and 30 respectively)
  • Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. They are only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or for youth or disability sport
  • The “Rule of Six” applies outdoors and in private gardens
  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport

International travel is allowed in Tier 2, but the advice is still not to travel unless necessary, and to check FCO restrictions for your destination.

Many countries, including France, Denmark, Italy and Austria have issued a travel ban, pausing all flights to the UK.

Travel, both domestic and international, is off the cards for the majority of the UK until at least Dec 30. 

Ireland has also extended its travel ban of passenger flights and ferries from England, Scotland and Wales until January 6, as the country goes into another month of lockdown. 

The ban on passenger flights and freight transport from the UK threatened to disrupt food supplies, Christmas gifts and even the Covid vaccine as well as hitting the festive travel plans of an estimated 250,000 Britons.

Tier 2 areas that are at the most risk of moving up a tier will also be offered community testing, in an attempt to limit transmission rates locally. 

The Department of Health and Social Care also shared, that in a move to prevent the spread of the virus, local authorities will be invited to submit proposals to access a fast and regular testing service, which will help prevent a move to Tier 3. As many as 67 areas in Tier 2 have already signed up to take part in the  first wave of enhanced testing support and more rollouts expected in 2021, the department added.

Tier 1 lockdown rules explained: what you can and can’t do in ‘medium risk alert areas

Tier 3 lockdown rules explained: what you can and can’t do in ‘very high risk alert areas

​Tier 4 lockdown: What are rules and which areas are affected?