Tiered COVID-19 restrictions come into place in England

Greg Davies

Greg Davies
Director of Market Development, Assurity Consulting
15th October 2020

Local COVID Alert Level – “Medium”

This alert level in essence continues to apply the current national measures that came into force on 25th September 2020, namely:

  • “All businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-19 Secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law, such as nightclubs.
  • Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am.
  • Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru.
  • Schools, universities and places of worship remain open
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees
  • Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place, provided the Rule of Six is followed
  • People must not meet in groups larger than 6, indoors or outdoors”


Local COVID Alert Level – High

High will be set for areas with increasing levels of COVID-19 with additional measures implemented. These additional measures reflect some of those already applied locally for areas with higher rates of infection, but will now be more widely used, they include:

  • “People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • People must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other space.
  • People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.”


Local COVID Alert Level – Very High

This covers areas where “transmission rates are causing greatest concern”. The Government sets a baseline of measures for these areas and consult with the relevant local authorities to determines any additional controls. The baseline measures include:

  • “Pubs and bars must close, and can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant – which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.
  • Wedding receptions are not allowed
  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting, whether at home or in a public space. The Rule of Six applies in open public spaces like parks and beaches.
  • People should try to avoid travelling outside the ‘Very High’ area they are in, or entering a ‘Very High’ area, other than for things like work, education, accessing youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if they are in transit.
  • People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are resident in a ‘Very High’ area, or avoid staying overnight in a ‘Very High’ area if they are resident elsewhere.”


Non-essential retail, schools and universities will remain open in all levels, although moves to close gyms, casinos, and leisure centres could be made for areas in the very high category.

The Government have also created a postcode checker (https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-local-restrictions), which shows what alert level applies in each area.