How to check which lockdown tier your area is in

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced the list of areas that will be moving into tier levels from one minute past midnight on Saturday, December 19 following changes in local Covid-19 rates.

England entered a ‘strengthened’ three tier lockdown system on December 2 after emerging from the national lockdown, with just three areas placed into tier one – Cornwall, the Scilly Isles and the Isle of Wight.

Meanwhile, London, Hertfordshire, and parts of Essex joined tier three on Wednesday – which has tough restrictions on social gatherings, and hospitality venue closures.

Here, we explain how you can find out what tier your area is in.

How can you check which tier your area is in?

The postcode checker allowing you to see which tier your area falls into is on the Government’s website.

Simply type in your postcode to see your area’s local restrictions.

How are the tiers decided?

Ministers have briefly outlined the five key factors that determine their decisions.

These include case detection rates in all age groups, case detection rates in the over 60s and the rate at which cases are rising or falling.

The two other measures are the positivity rate – the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken – and pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy.

What are the rules in each tier?

The system is slightly different to the one that was in place before the lockdown.

It is uniform and applies nationally without any negotiations with regional governments, meaning they cannot impose additional measures like before.

While shops, gyms and hairdressers are allowed to open across all tiers, restrictions on hospitality venues and households mixing vary.

Pubs and bars can only open as takeaways under tier three while in tier two they must operate as restaurants and can only serve alcohol alongside a substantial meal.

Another key difference under the new system is that the 10pm pub curfew has been extended to 11pm. In areas where pubs are allowed to re-open, last orders must be called at 10pm but people will get an extra hour to finish their food and drink.

Spectator sport and indoor performances – such as those at the theatre – have return in the lower two tiers, although with reduced capacity.

In terms of households mixing, people living under tier one restrictions can meet up to five other people indoors and outdoors.

No mixing of households is allowed indoors in tier two and a maximum of six people can meet outdoors.

In tier three, the toughest tier, household mixing is not allowed indoors, or in most outdoor places. Exemptions apply to outdoor public spaces such as parks and beaches.

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