2020-12-17 18:30:45 | what are the Covid restrictions for ‘high’ alert areas?


Story by: Dominic Penna The Telegraph

Yes, as well as nail bars and tattoo parlours, but you must wear a face mask unless exempt due to reasons regarding health, disability or age.

Read more: The 50 best Covid-secure hairdressers and beauty salons in the UK

Can I see my partner?

Under Tier 2, people cannot visit other households indoors unless they are part of a support bubble. This is when a single-adult household joins socially with exclusively other household.

Unless your partner is part of your social bubble, Tier 2 rules do not permit you to meet indoors and mean you must maintain social distancing outdoors. 

Read more: Dating during lockdown 

How many people can attend services such as funerals and weddings?

Thirty people can attend a funeral which takes place in an area under Tier 2 restrictions. However, a maximum of 15 people are allowed to attend any linked commemorative events such as wakes and stonesettings. 

Wedding ceremonies and receptions are restricted to 15 attendees.  

What are the rules on business meetings?

Up to 30 people from different households may meet indoors for work purposes as long as the place in which they are meeting is set up to follow Covid guidelines.

It is unclear whether government guidelines permit those meetings taking place in pubs or restaurants.

What does this mean for Christmas?

Boris Johnson confirmed on Dec 16, that plans to allow families to meet this Christmas will still go ahead, but has urged people to “exercise extreme caution” as they celebrate Christmas amid fears about the spread of coronavirus.

Speaking from a press conference on the same day, Boris Johnson updated the country on Covid restrictions over the festive period. He announced the relaxation of rules would not be reversed, as Christmas is a “time of year of immense emotional and spiritual importance. He did, however, urge the public to celebrate with “extreme caution”.

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Mr Johnson shared it is wrong to “criminalise people who simply want to spend time with their loved ones,” but he added people to consider “whether you can do more to protect yourself and others”. 

He added: “We don’t want to ban Christmas, That would be inhuman.”

Professor Chris Whitty then urged the public to celebrate with caution over Christmas, as we are “tantalisingly close” to defeating the virus with a vaccine. 

Michael Gove had also met virtually with the leaders of the devolved administrations on Dec 15 to discuss the four-nation ‘Christmas bubble’ plan, amid growing pressure to scrap household mixing over the festive period. 

The meeting comes after two British medical journals urged the Government to reverse the “rash” five-day Christmas break, or face a surge in hospital admissions.

Those talks have led to an agreement amongst the four nations to continue with the plan, but with a stronger message warning people of the dangers.

Mr Johnson told MPs at Prime Minister’s Questions there was “unanimous agreement” across the four nations “that we should proceed in principle with the existing regulations”.

“We don’t want to criminalise people’s long-made plans,” he said.

“But we do think it’s absolutely vital that people should – at this very, very tricky time – exercise a high degree of personal responsibility, especially when they come into contact with elderly people, and avoid contact with elderly people wherever possible.”

The current rules, agreed by ministers, are a UK-wide plan to allow three households to mix for five days between Dec 23 and 27, subject to a vote in parliament and each of the devolved administrations.

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Read more about the Christmas rules here

Will the tier restrictions ever come to an end?

Despite a rebellion from dozens of Tory MP’s at the House of Commons vote on the tiers, and backlash from businesses, Matt Hancock said the restrictions were here to stay for the “forthcoming few months.”

With the news that a vaccine has been approved in England, Mr Hancock encouraged people to “hold their nerve” and stick to the rules.

In a letter to Tory MPs, Boris Johnson said he would allow the House of Commons to vote on the new tiers in late January, saying the regulations “have a sunset of 3 February.”

Mr Johnson said he believed the vaccine would make Covid lockdowns “redundant” in the new year.

On November 20, ministers claimed that the recent vaccine news was “a ray of light” which may bring an end to the tiered lockdowns and reintroduce normality.

The Government’s plans to vaccinate 44 million adults before April 2021 was praised by the Health Secretary, who shared he was “more and more confident” that life will be closer to normality in the spring.

Read more: How long will it take for life to return to normal after the Covid vaccine rollout?​

So what does Tier 2 involve now we have a vaccine? 

Not much will change regarding the tier system for the time being, despite the recent approval of the Pfizer/ BioNTech vaccine. 

Boris Johnson said: “For the time being you’ve got to take it that tiering will be a very, very important part of our campaign against coronavirus”.

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He added that it will still be “some months before all the most vulnerable are protected” and so, we must remain cautious, and not be “carried away with over-optimism”. 

However, the Prime Minister hinted that certain areas might move down tiers before Easter.


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Source References: The Telegraph

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