The UK government has today published its full list of regional restrictions indicating which areas will be placed into which tiers once England’s national lockdown ends on 2nd December.
It has been confirmed that Greater Manchester will enter into Tier 3.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the regional tiered approach in address to MPs in the House of Commons this morning.
According to the official written statement by Mr Hancock published to the gov.uk website, the decision to place areas into the relevant tiered restrictions has been done so by taking into account advice from SAGE on the impact of the previous tiers to strengthen the measures in the tiers, and help enable areas to move more swiftly into lower tiers.
The “toughest” measures have been applied to “the parts of the country where prevalence remains too high”.
Mr Hancock described the tier allocations as “not easy decisions”, but ones that have been made “according to the best clinical advice, and the criteria that we set out in the COVID Winter Plan“.
- Case detection rates in all age groups.
- Case detection rates in the over 60s.
- The rate at which cases are rising or falling.
- Positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken).
- Pressure on the NHS.
The decision to place Greater Manchester into Tier 3 once the national lockdown ends is said to be due to “weekly case rates remaining very high”.
The over 60s age category has been singled out as highest figure.
The official reasoning – as stated on the gov.uk website – reads: “While there has been continued improvement in Greater Manchester, weekly case rates remain very high, especially amongst those aged over 60, at around 260 per 100,000 people.
“The pressure on the local NHS is decreasing in some areas but remains a concern,
“Manchester University hospital and Pennine Acute Trust remain under significant pressure”
- You must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues.
- You must not socialise in a group of more than six in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility – this is called the ‘rule of 6′.
- Hospitality settings – such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
- Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training.
- Indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close. This includes indoor play centres and areas, including trampolining parks and soft play, casino, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, amusement arcades and adult gaming centres, laser quests and escape rooms, cinemas, theatres and concert halls, and snooker halls.
- Indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close (indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such attractions can remain open). This includes indoor attractions within zoos, safari parks, and wildlife reserves; aquariums, visitor attractions at farms, and other animal attractions, model villages, museums, galleries and sculpture parks, botanical gardens, biomes or greenhouses, theme parks, circuses, fairgrounds and funfairs, visitor attractions at film studios, heritage sites such as castles and stately homes, landmarks including observation decks and viewing platforms.
- Leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close.
- There should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators.
- Large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events
- Places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble while you are there, unless a legal exemption applies.
- Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, 15 people can attend linked commemorative events.
- Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place.
- Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place indoors. There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under 18s.
- You can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible.
- Avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey.
Lancashire, Blackpool, and Blackburn with Darwen will also enter into Tier 3.
Liverpool City Region, Cheshire (including Warrington), and Cumbria will however enter into Tier 2 restrictions, although certain areas are said to be under watch.
The new regional tiered approach will come into effect from 0:01am on 2nd December, and the regulations will require the government to review the allocations every 14 days, with the first review complete by the end of 16th December.
The full regional tier list can be accessed here.
You can also use the government’s allocated postcode checker to access information on the restrictions which apply to you here.
For the latest information, guidance and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, please do refer to official sources at gov.uk/coronavirus.