On Monday 23 November the Prime Minister announced the new tiering system to come into force in England from Wednesday 2 December. The announcement confirmed that in all tiers there is an exemption ‘for work or providing voluntary or charitable services, including in other people’s homes’. These must still be done so responsibly, and in line with current UK Government advice on Coronavirus and social distancing.
The Prime Minister also announced that ‘essential and non-essential retail’ will be allowed to open from this date in all tiers - this includes charity shops.
There are three tiers in the new system - Tier one (medium alert); Tier Two (high alert); Tier Three (very high alert). Full details on each tier are available at Local Restriction Tiers: What you need to know. Posters setting out the rules in each tier are available here.
Across all tiers, you:
must wear a face covering in most indoor public settings, unless they have an exemption
should follow the rules on meeting others safely
should attend school or college as normal, unless they are self-isolating. Schools, universities, colleges and early years settings remain open in all tiers
should walk or cycle where possible, plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes when travelling
must follow the gathering limits at their tier except for in specific settings and circumstances. These exemptions are detailed in the guidance
There will be a temporary change in the rules over the Christmas period. On Tuesday the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations agreed an aligned approach allowing up to three households to form a ‘Christmas bubble’ from December 23 to 27. The advice on creating a Christmas bubble is available here.