Three tier lockdown: What's going to open and close under the new Covid restrictions?

BRITS are anxiously awaiting clarity over the new three-tier lockdown restrictions set to replace the national lockdown from December 2.

Here's what we know, how long the new rules are expected to last and what will reopen over the festive period.

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What are the new three tier lockdown rules?

Boris Johnson is set to reintroduce a revised three tier system once England's lockdown is lifted on December 2 and outline a new winter Covid recovery plan.

Areas throughout the UK will face different measures depending on the severity of their Covid outbreaks.

Discussions are still ongoing with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over a joint approach.

The new tier system will most likely bear strong similarities with the original three tier system announced in October, which splits different areas of England into medium, high and very high alert levels.

Areas in the first tier – medium alert – were subject to the same national measures which were in force at the time across the country including a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants and a ban on most gatherings of more than six people.

It is not clear what Tier 1 rules will be this time around – with the "rule of six" and 10pm curfew originally slapped on those living in medium-risk areas.

Under the second tier – high alert – household mixing was banned indoors while the rule of six continued to apply outdoors.

Tier 3 – very high alert – banned social mixing both indoors and in private gardens with people from different households, while pubs and bars were told to close unless they could operate as a restaurant.

However, under the new ramped-up Tier 2 and 3 rules, millions of Brits will be banned from mixing with other households indoors, The Sunday Times reports.

The measures reportedly include:

  • Tougher three-tier lockdown rules with tighter measures than when they were first used in October
  • The 10pm curfew will be scrapped and pubs and restaurants will now close at 11pm
  • People could be banned from seeing their families and friends until Easter under Tier 2 and 3 rules
  • Brits will be given special 'freedom passes' to live normal lives if they have two negative Covid tests a week
  • Beauty salons, gyms and hairdressers are set to reopen on December 2
  • All shops – even in the toughest tiers – will remain open when lockdown ends
  • Kids' team sports could return from next month in a boost for grassroots games
  • The new rules are set to be suspended for up to five days over Christmas so families can meet indoors

Will pubs and restaurants reopen?

Pubs and restaurants are likely to reopen on December 2 with the controversial 10pm curfew scrapped and opening hours extended until 11pm.

Last orders will be at 10pm under Boris Johnson's proposed winter Covid plan – with the hope this will stop revellers congregating in crowds on the streets.

It will also give diners an extra hour to finish their meals and provide a boost for the hospitality sector, which has been ravaged by the pandemic.

However, pubs that do not serve food could stay shut in Tier 3 areas with the highest infection rates.

Will shops reopen?

In a boost for the struggling high street, all shops are set to reopen when lockdown ends – even if they're in the strictest tiers.

Will schools remain open?

Yes. Schools will continue to operate as normal.

Can I mix with other households?

Harsher controls on households mixing indoors could be on the cards.

Families will likely be allowed to attend Christmas church services but are being warned not to expect a normal festive period in which several families can meet up.

It's reported that there'll be a four-nation 'truce', which will see all families across the UK allowed the same number of days to celebrate with loved ones.

Can I get my hair cut?

The Treasury is reportedly pushing for gyms and the beauty industry to reopen, in line with non-essential shops, on December 2.

However, it's not known whether fitness and beauty businesses will be allowed to open in the new toughest tiers.

In the old tier system which was in place during October, some Tier 3 areas like Liverpool were forced to shut their gyms, while other cities like Manchester were still allowed to keep fitness facilities open.

So while the beauty salons and gyms may be able to open in the lower tiers, they may not be able to operate all across the country, depending on the Government's decisions.

Can I play sport?

Kids' team sports are set to return when lockdown ends in a boost for grassroots games before Christmas.

Restrictions on playing sports could be relaxed as England moves out of the national lockdown in 10 days' time.

Detailed discussions about allowing crowds into open-air stadiums are continuing, although there's concern about how to get fans to and from venues without risking transmissions on public transport.

Can I travel?

Some regional areas may face fresh measures such as extra travel bans and curbs on overnight stays.

However, those in pursuit of international travel could be eligible for Covid passport certificates which would prove Brits are virus-free and allow air travel to return to normal.

The Government also recently announced it hopes to cut the 14-day travel quarantine from 14 days to five.

How long are they expected to last?

The revised three-tier structure could be in place until the spring while scientists continue work on approving vaccines.

Confirmed new cases of COVID-19 have started to drop across the UK, with the number of positive tests during the past seven days falling 13.8 per cent from the week before.

Authorities reported 2,861 COVID-related deaths over the last seven-day period, 17 fewer than a week earlier. Still, the infection rate remains high, at 244 cases for every 100,000 people.

The UK has Europes deadliest COVID-19 outbreak, with more than 54,700 deaths.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that while the lockdown has been successful in slowing the spread of the virus, people need to keep following the rules.

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