Covid tier announcement: What Tier 2 restrictions mean for Somerset regions – Somerset Live

All but one region of Somerset will be placed into Tier 2 restrictions after the end of the national lockdown, the government has confirmed.

The tiers each area of the country would be placed into were confirmed today (November 26) after the government launched an online postcode checker revealing the fate of each region.

North Somerset will face the toughest restrictions after being placed into Tier 3 alongside neighbouring Bristol.

However, every other area of Somerset, including Bath and North East Somerset which had seen concerning levels of cases over recent weeks, has been placed into Tier 2 restrictions.

The government has detailed on its website the restrictions that will apply for each tier when the lockdown ends.

The tier applied in each area will be reviewed every 14 days, with the first national review set for December 16.

Separate rules will be put in place for Christmas, but this has yet to be detailed by the government.

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What restrictions are in place under Tier 2?

Much of Somerset will be subject to Tier 2 restrictions on December 2 and will therefore need to follow the relevant rules.

In Tier 2:

  • you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place

  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’

  • businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs

  • pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals

  • hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:

    • provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol

    • close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway service areas are exempt)

    • stop taking orders after 10pm

  • hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink 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-through

  • early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm

  • public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors

  • public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors

  • places of worship remain open but you must not socialise with people from outside of your household or support bubble while you are indoors there, unless a legal exemption applies

  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes or stonesettings.

  • organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue

  • organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing

  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible

  • if you live in a tier 2 area, you must continue to follow tier 2 rules when you travel to a tier 1 area. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities.You can travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey

Rules across all tiers, including for schools and businesses

A number of restrictions are consistent across all the new tiers.

Rules for those in schools and for essential and non-essential retail and health and beauty businesses have been laid out by the government.

The rules in place across all tiers regarding schools and public gatherings are that people:

  • 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

There are also a number of rules in place for businesses in all tiers, which will be allowed to remain open.

The new tier rules allow specific businesses to remain open across all areas, and these businesses are:

  • essential and non-essential retail, including indoor and outdoor markets and car boot sales

  • certain leisure and sporting facilities such as gyms, sports courts and facilities, leisure centres, fitness and dance studios, golf courses, swimming pools, riding centres, outdoor playgrounds – subject to relevant social contact rules in each tier. Indoor group activities and classes should not take place at tier 3

  • personal care and close contact services such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas and beauty services, massage parlours and tanning salons

  • public buildings, such as libraries, community centres and halls. They should not host events for private hire, such as birthday parties or most other social activities in tier 3

  • allotments, recycling and waste centres, public toilets, car parks

  • essential public services such as the NHS and medical services, courts, and jobcentre plus sites

  • places of worship – communal worship can now resume, subject to relevant social contact rules in each tier

It has also been stressed that those who can work from home are urged to continue doing so.

Where people cannot do so – including, but not limited to, people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, or manufacturing – they should continue to travel to their workplace.

Public-sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary

It’s more important than ever to stay in touch with what’s happening around you on a daily basis. Here are some options:

  • The Somerset Live app delivers the latest news, sport and what’s on information to your mobile phone – all for free. Click on the App Store here to download the app for iOS devices, and on the Google Play store here to download the app on Android.
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  • You can also keep up to date on the latest Coronavirus news, and share details of community responses to the outbreak in our dedicated Facebook page.
  • You can get news and information for where you live from In Your Area – enter your postcode to find out what’s going on locally.
  • Find our Bath Facebook page here or Somerset’s can be found here .
  • Alternatively, follow us on Twitter @BathLive and @SomersetLive .

What are the exceptions on gathering rules?

The government has identified a number of situations in which the rules on gatherings in all tiers may be bypassed.

They are:

  • as part of a single household, or a support bubble

  • for work or providing voluntary or charitable services, including in other people’s homes

  • for childcare, education or training – meaning education and training provided as part of a formal curriculum

  • for supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care (before and after-school childcare), groups and activities for under 18s, and children’s playgroups

  • for formal support groups, and parent and child groups – up to 15 people aged 5 and older

  • to allow contact between birth parents and children in care, as well as between siblings in care

  • for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians

  • for prospective adopting parents to meet a child or children who may be placed with them

  • for birth partners

  • to attend a funeral – with no more than 30 people present – or a commemorative event such as a wake for someone who has died – with no more than 15 people present

  • to see someone who is terminally ill or at the end of life

  • to attend a wedding or civil partnership – with no more than 15 people present

  • to provide emergency assistance

  • to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm

  • to fulfil a legal obligation, such as attending court or jury service

  • to provide care or assistance to someone vulnerable or to provide respite for a carer

  • to facilitate moving home