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Tier 3 will be the new reality for thousands of people after they are moved into the highest tier following Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s announcement at the House of Commons on Thursday. Tier 3 areas will be significantly impacted with industries such as the entertainment and hospitality sectors hard-hit by the restrictions of tier 3. But what exactly can you do in tier 3?
MPs will vote on the changes to the tiering system on Tuesday, December 1 according to House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg.
The announcement was made right before Mr Hancock was due to make his announcement in the House of Commons.
The Office for National Statistics today revealed the number of infections are “levelling” off across the UK.
During the week starting November 15 they estimate 633,000 people in the community had COVID-19 – equivalent to around 1 in 85 people.
The positivity rate is still climbing in the East Midlands and is at its highest rate in Yorkshire and Humber, North West and the North East.
But the rate of infection appears to be decreasing in the West Midlands, East of England, London, South East and South West.
Ministers evaluated several metrics when deciding which tiers to place each area of the UK, including:
- Case detection rate across all age groups and especially among the over-60s
- How quickly case rates are rising or falling.
- Percentage of those tested in local populations who are found to have covid
- The rate of positive cases across the UK generally
- Current and projected pressures on the NHS.
What is tier 3?
Tier 3 areas are those considered to be very high or very rapidly rising levels of coronavirus infections.
As a result the tightest restrictions are implemented in these areas.
All tier 3 local authorities will be offered support from NHS Test and Trace and the Armed Forces to deliver a six-week rapid community testing programme enabling the use of rapid lateral flow tests which give results within an hour.
The Government has been keen to emphasise a “uniform set of measures” will be rolled out in tier 3 regions rather than individual measures for each local authority area.
This has led to some changes from previous tier 3 rules.
Prior to the second national lockdown, tier 3 areas were subject to different conditions.
Before lockdown tier 3 pubs and restaurants were able to open to visitors if they provided substantial meals, however, this is no longer permitted.
In addition, cinemas were previously allowed to open in tier 3 areas.
The tier 3 rules are as follows:
- You cannot meet anyone outside your household or support bubble, indoors or in most outdoor places, including private gardens and most outdoor venues
- The rule of six applies to some other outdoor public spaces including parks, beaches and public gardens
- Hospitality businesses including bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants must close – but they are permitted to offer takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
- Accommodations including hotels must close, except for those where they are someone’s main resilience or someone is required to use for an essential reason such as work, education or training.
- Indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close including indoor play centres, bowling alleys and cinemas.
- Indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close such as indoor attractions at zoos, model villages, museums and heritage sites.
- Leisure and sports facilities can remain open but group exercise activities must stop.
- No public attendance at spectator sports is permitted, but elite sports without an audience can proceed.
- Large outdoor events should not take place, except for drive-in events.
- Places of worship can remain open, but you can only attend with members of your own household
- Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – 15 for weddings and 30 for funerals.
- Organised outdoor sport and classes can continue, but those at high-risk of contact should not take place
- Organised indoor sport cannot take place indoors except for indoor disability sport, sport for education and supervision sport for under-18s.
- You should avoid travelling to other areas of the UK except for essential travel such as work or education
- You can continue to travel to venues which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible.
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