As England prepares for the end of its second national lockdown on December 2, we’re faced with another new set of rules to learn.
Boris Johnson made a statement unveiling the “Covid winter plan” in the House of Commons on Monday, confirming: “The national restrictions will end on the 2nd December and they will not be renewed.”
The three-tier system – which divided the country into three ‘risk levels’ before the lockdown – will return from next Wednesday 2 December, with some slight adjustments and additions in detail. You can find out which tier you are in here.
Some businesses will reopen “regardless of tier”.
Venues reopening across the country include:
Places of worship (subject to social distancing)
Wedding venues (up to 15 guests permitted nationwide, but receptions not permitted in Tier 3).
Venues for outdoor sport (e.g golf curses and tennis courts)
‘Personal care’ settings (e.g. hairdressers and nail salons)
What’s happening to pubs and restaurants?
The hospitality sector will be subject to the tier system.
Tier 1: Restaurants and pubs can reopen. The 10pm closure rule – referred to previously as the curfew – has been scrapped. Instead, last orders will be at 10 and venues will need to close by 11pm.
Tier 2: Pubs and bars must close unless they are “serving substantial meals (like a full breakfast, main lunchtime or evening meal), along with accompanying drinks”.
Tier 3: All hospitality must close except for delivery, takeaway and drive-through.
What’s the deal with entertainment venues?
Entertainment venues such as cinemas, theatres, casinos and bowling alleys, can reopen in tiers 1 and 2. However, in tier 3 these businesses can not reopen.
Hotels and other accommodation providers must close in tier 3, except for specific exemptions, “including people staying for work purposes or where they cannot return home”.
Will some things stay the same?
Some businesses such as post offices, garden centres and hardware stores were permitted to stay open during the lockdown, so not much will change there.