Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a three-tier Covid-19 system, which sees different parts of the country placed in different categories depending on their rates of infection.
The three tiers are titled MEDIUM, HIGH and VERY HIGH. Here’s what they mean:
Tier 1 – MEDIUM – national restrictions remain in place which includes the rule of six and 10pm curfew.
All businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a Covid-Secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law, such as nightclubs.
Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to 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-thru.
Schools, universities and places of worship remain open.
Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees
Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place, provided the Rule of Six is followed
People must not meet in groups larger than 6, indoors or outdoors.
The cities that are under Tier 1 are parts of England not listed in Tier 2 and Tier 3
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 must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other space.
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.
The following cities are in Tier 2:
Cheshire: Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East
Greater Manchester: Manchester, Bolton, Bury, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, Salford, Rochdale, Oldham
Derbyshire: High Peak – the wards of Tintwistle, Padfield, Dinting, St John’s, Old Glossop, Whitfield, Simmondley, Gamesley, Howard Town, Hadfield South and Hadfield North
Lancashire: Lancashire, Blackpool, Preston, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley
West Yorkshire: Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale, Wakefield, South Yorkshire, Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster, Sheffield
North East: Newcastle, South Tyneside, North Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland, Durham, Northumberland, Tees Valley, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington, Hartlepool
West Midlands: Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Wolverhampton, Walsall
Leicester: Leicester, Oadby and Wigston
Nottingham: Nottinghamshire, Nottingham City
Tier 3 – VERY HIGH – for areas with high infection rate, closure of hospitality:
Pubs and bars must close and 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.
Wedding receptions are not allowed
People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting, whether at home or in a public space. The Rule of Six applies in open public spaces like parks and beaches.
People should try to avoid travelling outside the ‘Very High’ area they are in, or entering a ‘Very High’ area, other than for things like work, education, accessing youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if they are in transit.
People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are resident in a ‘Very High’ area or avoid staying overnight in a ‘Very High’ area if they are resident elsewhere.
Liverpool is the only part of the UK under Tier 3, where restrictions will come into effect from
There have been various reactions from leaders across the country. Here are reactions from Kirklees and Bradford
Leader of Kirklees Council, Cllr Shabir Pandor, said: “There is still plenty to discuss with government about how the new system of restrictions will work. We need to understand how areas enter and exit each tier and what kind of local discretion there is for restrictions that do and don’t work. We also need to know more about the economic support that will be available for people and businesses in Kirklees who are struggling now and how we can support recovery.
“I will continue to have those discussions with government over the coming days because clarity is the key to making restrictions work.
“My message to people in Kirklees remains the same. Infection rates are rising, and we are seeing pressure on the NHS increase. This means that everyone needs to keep following the rules on social distancing, hand washing and isolating if you have symptoms. This is the best way we can protect each other and get our freedoms back.”
Batley and Spen MP, Tracy Brabin also agreed that the restrictions must be adhered to. She said: “It’s disappointing that our communities now have to come to terms with new restrictions. However Tier 2 means many businesses can remain open and people can still take part in many parts of their daily lives which is so important to mental health and wellbeing.
What’s important above all else is that these restrictions work, and that the spread of coronavirus slows. The sacrifices we are making must lead towards something, and if cases go down, restrictions should ease too.”
Meanwhile in Bradford, Bradford South MP Judith Cummins said:
“The Government has today announced that the whole of West Yorkshire will be in tier two restrictions. After months of uncertainty and weeks of speculation and confusion for local people and businesses, I am hoping this will bring more clarity.
“Although we are not currently facing hospitality closures, the continued restrictions on indoor mixing will have an impact on many businesses in Bradford. They need further financial support, and I will continue to push the Government to roll out financial support to all areas under restrictions.
“The rate of infection remains worryingly high in Bradford and I urge people to keep themselves and their families safe.”