It may be Boxing Day, but unfortunately the festivities are now over for the Christmas period as from today Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and Cheshire are back into Tier 3 lockdown rules.
Whereas we were allowed to mix with two other households yesterday to celebrate Christmas, today is a different story.
The tiers are due to be reviewed at the end of this month, but for now, we must adhere to the Tier 3 lockdown rules.
Social contact: You cannot meet anyone socially, unless they are from your household or support bubble, either indoors or in outdoor spaces like private gardens, beer gardens, hospitality or ticketed venues.. However, rule of six limits still apply in outdoor open spaces, such as a park, forest, or beach.
Bubbles: Two households can form a ‘support bubble’ if one of them only has one adult; or a ‘childcare bubble’ if one of them has a child under 13. There’s also now a new exemption which allows a multi-adult household to form a support bubble no matter what, if that household has a child under one, or a child with care needs under five. If you’re in a bubble, you can behave as though you’re all in one household.
Shielding: ‘Clinically extremely vulnerable’ people who shielded in Spring can return to school and work. There will be specific guidance for each tier.
Sex: Indoor recreational gatherings are banned unless you live together or are in the same bubble. The same applies to outdoor spaces like gardens or beer gardens. Gatherings are still technically allowed in parks, but you’re supposed to socially distance. And, er, there’s a little thing called public indecency law.
Pubs and restaurants: Hospitality venues must shut and can only remain open as “click and collect” or takeaway services. This includes hotels. Drive-throughs can stay open.
Travel and holidays: You should limit any journeys made outside your local Tier 3 area – except for work and school run journeys. This is guidance, rather than the law. People are advised against overnight stays outside the area or having visitors to stay from elsewhere. This means no holidays.
Work: The advice is to work from home if you can.
Weddings and funerals: 15 guests can attend marriage ceremonies but receptions are banned. Funerals can have up to 30 mourners, with only 15 people allowed at the wake.
Shops: All retail – including non-essential shops – can stay open.
Gyms, pools, hairdressers, and ‘personal care’ (e.g. nail salons): These can stay open.
Cinemas, bingo, bowling, soft play and other indoor entertainment: These must shut in Tier 3.
Find out how many cases there are where you live:
Sports: Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place outdoors, but not indoors unless it’s just one household or bubble.
Spectator sports: Not allowed in Tier 3, indoors or outdoors.
Mass events, theatres, gigs and conferences: Not allowed.
Religious services: Can go ahead as long as the sub-group you’re in the venue with is consistent with social gathering rules for your tier.