As the national lockdown comes to an end in England, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire are both being plunged into the highest level of Tier 3 from tomorrow.
Much of the Midlands, North East and North West will be in Tier 3 – the most restrictive tier – meaning a ban on households mixing except in limited circumstances such as in parks.
Bars and restaurants will be limited to takeaway or delivery services and people will be advised to avoid travelling outside their area.
Here is everything you need to know…
Meeting friends and family
As before, people living in very high risk areas cannot mix with friends and family indoors at all. You cannot go into someone else’s home unless part of the same support bubble, or meet at other indoor locations.
Tier 3 residents are also banned from meeting others they don’t live with in private domestic gardens.
The only place people can see other family and friends to socialise is in an open public space such as a park or beach. In these instances, the Rule of Six still applies, and still includes children of all ages.
Trades people such as electricians, plumbers and plasterers can go inside as they’re carrying out work.
Want a free daily bulletin which includes all the latest Covid-19 news – plus breaking news alerts direct to your inbox? Then sign up to our email newsletter service by clicking here.
Want to know more before you sign up? Click here.
Decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails? No problem – you can just follow the unsubscribe link.
A new exemption allows a multi-adult household to form a support bubble with another if they have a child under one or a child under five who needs care.
All venues classed as providing ‘indoor entertainment’ must remain closed in Tier 3 areas. This includes cinemas, theatres, bowling lanes, bingo halls and soft play areas.
Shops and retail
All non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen in Tier 3 areas on December 2 – and that rule also applies to businesses such as hairdressers and beauty salons.
Pubs and restaurants
Pubs, restaurants and hotels in Tier 3 areas will have to remain closed this time around, except for takeaways and deliveries.
Previously they could stay open, and serve alcohol, if they served substantial meals, however that rule will apply to Tier 2 this time around, and all hospitality venues in Tier 3 – including hotels – will have to keep their doors shut this time around.
Drive-throughs can remain open.
Leisure and exercise
Gyms, swimming pools and other leisure facilities in Tier 3 locations can reopen on December 2. Organised outdoor sport and exercise classes can also restart, so long as the rule of six is observed. Indoor sport can only continue if it involves just one household or bubble.
Crowds at sporting events are not allowed in Tier 3 locations.
It’s hoped the rapid coronavirus tests which covered everyone in Liverpool will be rolled out to other Tier 3 areas.
Councils in Tier 3 towns and cities won’t have the right to negotiate or appeal the decision, although they can negotiate the details of mass testing and similar measures.
Holiday and travel
As before, people living in Tier 3 are being advised not to travel in and out of the area they live in except for reasons such as work and education.
People are also advised against overnight stays outside the area or having visitors to stay from elsewhere, meaning no holidays.
However, this is advice and not law.
Weddings and funerals
Weddings and civil partnerships can resume in Tier 3 locations with a maximum of 15 guests. However, receptions are not allowed. 30 people can attend funerals, but only 15 people can go on to the wake.
We’ve launched a new Christmas Facebook group to spread a little festive cheer in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.
Join it here.
Worship 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
The Government is yet to provide an update on whether driving lessons and tests will officially be allowed.