England’s second national lockdown has come to an end, leaving the country under a new set of Covid-19 restrictions.
A new tiered approach – similar to what was seen in October – is instead being used to try and keep coronavirus in check, with Devon – including Plymouth and Torbay – placed in Tier 2 and Cornwall in Tier 1.
The changes came into effect one minute after midnight today.
Before the lockdown came into force on November 5, Devon was in Tier 1, with a mixing with other people indoors allowed as long as the ‘rule of six’ was followed.
But the government has since confirmed that the whole of Devon will be placed into Tier 2 restrictions.
The decision which tier a place shall be in revolves around the number of positive Covid-19 tests, as well as the number of people over 60 testing positive, hospital capacity and the infection rate.
With a new set of rules coming into force, here’s what you need to know.
You cannot meet anyone socially indoors, unless they are from your household or support bubble. This applies at home or in a public setting. Rule of six limits apply outdoors.
Two households can form a ‘support bubble’ if one of them only has one adult; or a ‘childcare bubble’ if one of them has a child under 13. There’s also now a new exemption which allows a multi-adult household to form a support bubble no matter what, if that household has a child under one, or a child with care needs under five. If you’re in a bubble, you can behave as though you’re all in one household.
‘Clinically extremely vulnerable’ people who shielded in Spring can return to school and work. There will be specific guidance for each tier.
Pubs and restaurants
Hospitality venues must shut unless they serve food, and you can only buy alcohol if you are also consuming a “substantial meal”. They must call last orders at 10pm, though people only have to leave at 11pm.
Schools, universities and childcare
Remain open in all circumstances, but universities can do more online learning.
Travel and holidays
You should reduce the number of journeys where possible, but holidays are allowed. Don’t travel into Tier 3 areas unless necessary for things like work or education.
The advice is to work from home if you can.
Weddings and funerals
15 guests can attend marriage ceremonies and receptions. Funerals can have up to 30 mourners, with only 15 people allowed at the wake.
All retail – including non-essential shops – can stay open.
Gyms, pools, hairdressers, and ‘personal care’
These can stay open, including nail salons.
Cinemas, bingo, bowling and soft play
These can stay open along with all other indoor entertainment.
Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can happen outdoors, but not indoors if anyone from different households interacts with each other.
Allowed outdoors with a maximum crowd size of either 50% occupancy of the stadium or 2,000 spectators, whichever is smaller. Allowed indoors with 1,000 spectators or 50% occupancy, whichever is smaller.
Mass events, theatres, gigs and conferences
Allowed indoors with 1,000 spectators or 50% occupancy, whichever is smaller.
Can go ahead as long as the sub-group you’re in the venue with is consistent with social gathering rules for your tier.
Driving lessons and tests
Can go ahead.