What is the three tier system and what does it mean for me?

The government has announced a new three tier system for categorising the rate of infections during the pandemic. You can keep up to date with what is happening here

Every area of England now falls into three categories – medium (Tier One), high (Tier Two) or very high (Tier Three), depending on the local rate of infection.

Tier one: Medium alert level

Tier one areas will be asked to maintain the current national rules

This means:

  • you must not socialise in groups larger than 6, indoors or outdoors (other than where a legal exemption applies)
  • businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law
  • certain businesses are required to ensure customers only consume food and drink while seated, and must close between 10pm and 5am
  • businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • schools and universities remain open
  • places of worship remain open, subject to the rule of 6
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees
  • exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors, or indoors if the rule of 6 is followed

You must:

You should continue to:

  • follow social distancing rules
  • work from home where you can effectively do so
  • when travelling, plan ahead or avoid busy times and routes. Walk or cycle if you can

Find out more about the measures that apply in medium alert level areas to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Tier 2: High Alert Level

This is for areas with a higher level of infections where some additional restrictions are in place.

This means on top of restrictions in tier one areas:

  • you must not socialise with anybody outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other spaces like beaches or parks (other than where specific exemptions apply in law)
  • businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law
  • certain businesses are required to ensure customers only consume food and drink while seated, and must close between 10pm and 5am
  • businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • schools, universities and places of worship remain open
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees
  • exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will 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
  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities that are open, for work or to access education, but should look to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible

You must:

You should continue to:

  • follow social distancing rules
  • work from home where you can effectively do so
  • walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport

Find out more about the measures that apply in high alert level areas to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Tier three: Alert level Very High

This is for areas with a very high level of infections and where tighter restrictions are in place. The restrictions placed on areas with a very high level of infections can vary, and are based on discussions between central and local government. You should therefore check the specific rules in your area.

At a minimum, this means:

  • you must not socialise with anybody you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue
  • pubs and bars must close. They can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant, which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal
  • schools and universities remain open
  • places of worship remain open, but household mixing is not permitted
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees. However, wedding receptions are not allowed
  • exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will 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
  • you should try to avoid travelling outside the very-high alert level area you are in or entering a very-high alert level area, other than for things like work, education or youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if you are travelling through as part of a longer journey
  • you should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if you are resident in a very-high alert level area, or avoid staying overnight in a very-high alert level area if you are resident elsewhere

You must:

You should continue to:

  • follow social distancing rules
  • work from home where you can effectively do so
  • travel to venues or amenities that are open, for work or to access education, but aim to reduce the number of journeys you make

What is happening in Northern Ireland?

Restrictions have been introduced for four weeks to limit the spread of the virus. Schools will close for a two-week extended half-term break from 19 October.

Other measures include:

  • From Friday 16 October, pubs, bars and restaurants must close, except for takeaways and deliveries, which must stop by 23:00 BST
  • Support bubbles will be limited to a maximum of 10 people from two households
  • You are not allowed to stay overnight in someone else’s home, unless they are part of your bubble
  • Close-contact services such as hairdressers and beauticians must close, except for essential services
  • No indoor or contact sport allowed unless at elite level; gyms stay open for individual exercise only
  • No mass events of more than 15 people, apart from certain sporting events
  • Wedding ceremonies limited to 25 people from 19 October, with no receptions
  • Funerals limited to 25 people, with no wakes allowed before or afterwards

What is happening in Scotland?

Because of higher levels of Covid infection, 3.4 million people in central Scotland are subject to tougher restrictions until 25 October.

The region affected covers 18 local council and five health board areas (Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian, Forth Valley).

In these areas, all licensed premises – with the exception of hotel bars for residents – have to close indoors and outdoors, though takeaways are permitted.

Cafes can stay open until 18:00 daily, as long as they don’t serve alcohol.

People living in these areas have been told to avoid public transport, unless absolutely necessary, and not to leave their local areas if possible (people from outside are encouraged not to visit).

Other measures include the closing of snooker halls, bowling alleys, casinos and bingo halls, the suspension of non-professional contact sports and indoor group exercise for adults.

In the rest of Scotland, pubs and restaurants can only open inside between 06:00 and 18:00 daily until Sunday 25 October, and they are not allowed to serve alcohol.

They are only allowed to serve food and non-alcoholic drinks, although they can serve alcohol outdoors until 22:00.

Hotel restaurants can serve food after 18:00, but only for residents and without alcohol.

Throughout the nation, face coverings are compulsory in indoor communal settings, such as staff canteens and corridors in workplaces.

What is happening in Wales?

At the moment pubs must operate a table service only and Pubs, cafes and restaurants in must stop serving alcohol at 22:00.

Sales of alcohol from off-licences and supermarkets after 22:00 are also banned.

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For more information, please email info@youthemployment.org.uk or call 01536 513388.

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