The Government has announced which areas will fall into Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions when England comes out of lockdown after the 2nd of December. The bad news is almost all of England is in at least Tier 2 with even more in Tier 3 than before the lockdown started. The good news (trying to be positive), is that for many lockdown restrictions will relax very slightly into Tier 2 and online retail will be bigger than ever.
Only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will be in Tier 1 allowing for indoor mingling for groups of up to 6. That’s if you fancy it and you trust each other not to be infected for which there is no certainty – mixing is certainly not compulsory.
30 odd million living in England will now find themselves in Tier 2 where there’s no indoor mingled allowed barring families and your support bubble, although children of separated parents can still move between households and up to six can meet outside. Liverpool, the first council to accept Tier 3 at the earliest possible opportunity, is now in Tier 2.
Sadly Liverpool are an exception and most areas that were in Tier 3 prior to the lockdown remain with these restrictions, plus a host of other areas previously in lower Tiers. In Tier 3 which includes around 23 million people, you can only meet up to 6 others outside in certain public spaces like parks – your mates can’t even hang out in your garden.
For many, the move from lockdown to the new Tiers, with even more tough restrictions than previously, won’t seem much different. Even in Tier 2 many businesses won’t be able to open profitably – only in Tier 1 can pubs open, in all Tier 2 areas of the country they can only serve alcohol with a substantial meal and in Tier 3 it’s takeaway only.
There is a full list of activities that are allowed and prohibited, depending upon which Tier you reside in, available on Gov.UK
The criteria for deciding which Tier your area is in
- 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, including current and projected occupancy
This is going to be a very long hard winter for the nations’ health and relaxing restrictions over Christmas can only make things worse. For online this means delivery companies are going to be under more pressure than ever before. For the NHS the Christmas Covid spike will likely hit in January.
It’s probably not too much of a stretch to say that if you decide to ignore the rules and meet up with multiple friends and family to exchange gifts over Christmas, the most likely gift you’ll receive this year could end up being Covid.