Tier 2 lockdown: New rules on what you can and can’t do in high risk areas

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After four weeks of national lockdown, England will return to the tiered system on December 2.

Boris Johnson announced the new, tougher, tier rules on Monday in the government's new Covid Winter Plan, as the fight against coronavirus continues.

The new rules are set to be in place in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Like last time, they will see every place in England placed into one of three tiers – Tier 1 is medium risk, Tier 2 is high risk and Tier 3 is very high risk – although the announcement on which towns and cities go into which tier won’t be made until Thursday.

Tiering allocations will also be formally reviewed every 14 days, but MPs will have to vote on them before they can be brought in next week.

New Tier 2 lockdown rules

Here's a breakdown of all the new rules.

Shops and retail

All shops, gyms and personal care businesses in Tier 2 locations will be allowed to reopen on December 2.

That means hairdressers and beauty salons can open their doors once again as well, as can cinemas, bingo halls, bowling lanes and soft play centres.

Pubs and restaurants

Alcohol can only be served with meals in pubs in Tier 2
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

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The big change in Tier 2 is for pubs and restaurants.

Hospitality businesses will only be allowed to serve alcohol if it's part of a substantial meal. Pubs that can’t serve such meals will have to close.

People who live together can go inside, but if you want to have a meal in friends you will have to wrap up warm and brave the cold as you'll have to sit outside.

The curfew has also changed, meaning it’s last orders at 10pm and closing time at 11pm to allow customers to depart in a staggered way, rather than all at once the moment the clock strikes 10.

Previously this was a rule in place for Tier 3 locations, but will now apply to Tier 2.

Leisure and exercise

Leisure facilities such as gyms and swimming pools can reopen on December 2, while outdoor sports will also be allowed to resume.

That means organised amateur sport such as football can take place again.

Meeting friends and family

The rule of six will resume outdoors and still include children of all ages.

However, you cannot meet anyone socially indoors – at a private home or public setting – unless they're from your household or support bubble

Sport crowds

Fans can again go and see their favourite teams in Tier 2 areas
(Image: PA)

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After months of waiting, spectators will be allowed to return to watch sport once again.

In Tier 2 locations, stadiums and other venues can allow in 50% of their overall capacity or 2,000 people, whichever is smaller.


Again, they can open their doors to 1,000 people or 50% of their capacity, whichever is smaller.

Working from home

The guidance for Tier 2, along with all three tiers, is for people to work from home and avoid travel where possible.

Support bubbles

Support bubbles have been widened across all three tiers.

It means couples with a child aged nine months or younger, or with a child under five who needs care for a disability, can form a support bubble with another whole household.

Previously, it had to be a single adults household, although childcare bubbles existed, and will continue.

Holiday and travel

People living in Tier 2 locations can go on holiday or to a second home as there will be no blanket “stay at home” order.

The foreign travel ban will also be lifted.

Weddings and funerals

Large weddings and receptions will still not be allowed
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Weddings will be allowed once again, with a maximum of 15 guests for a ceremony, regardless of tier, whether it’s a wedding or civil partnership.

Funerals can have 30 mourners, with only 15 allowed to go on to the wake.


Services can again be held as long as sub-groups within the venue are consistent with the tier you’re in.

There is currently no news on carol singing.

Driving lessons and tests

Both will be allowed to go ahead.

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