Tier 2 lockdown rules: what are the restrictions for high alert areas? – Telegraph.co.uk

Yes, as well as nail bars and tattoo parlours, but you must wear a face mask unless exempt due to reasons regarding health, disability or age.

Read more: The 50 best Covid-secure hairdressers and beauty salons in the UK

Can I see my partner?

Under Tier 2, people cannot visit other households indoors unless they are part of a support bubble. This is when a single-adult household joins socially with exclusively other household.

Unless your partner is part of your social bubble, Tier 2 rules do not permit you to meet indoors and mean you must maintain social distancing outdoors. 

Read more: Dating during lockdown 

What are the rules on business meetings?

Up to 30 people from different households may meet indoors for work purposes as long as the place in which they are meeting is set up to follow Covid guidelines.

It is unclear whether government guidelines permit those meetings taking place in pubs or restaurants.

What does this mean for Christmas?

Ministers have agreed a UK-wide plan to allow up to four households to mix for five days over Christmas between 24 and 28 December. 

Families will be able to enjoy Christmas together across the whole of the UK after ministers agreed to allow up to four households to mix during the five day break.

Tough limits on household mixing will be scrapped for the festive break before the country returns to a Tier system.

No final decision has been made on how many households will be able to get together, but sources have indicated it will be either three or four households, meaning families will be able to have both sets of grandparents to stay.

Other restrictions, including pub closures, are also expected to be relaxed over the five-day holiday.

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, is reportedly behind the relaxation of the rules, which will begin several days before Christmas. The hope is to offer people some “normal days” in pubs and restaurants before the holiday.

In a statement, the Cabinet Office said the leaders of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland had “endorsed a shared objective of facilitating some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days”.

However, they also “emphasised that the public will be advised to remain cautious, and that wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact”.

Northern Ireland is discussing a cross-border agreement with Ireland, which means the same rules are likely to apply in every part of the British Isles.

The four-nation approach, which must be approved by Parliament and each of the devolved administrations, will mean families who have relatives in another of the home nations, who have at times been prevented from visiting them because of different rules either side of the border, can now confidently plan Christmas together.

Families must decide on their extended bubbles in advance and will not be able to mix with anyone from outside that bubble during the festive break.

The Cabinet Office said: “Welcoming the good progress made by all administrations over the past few days to design a single set of arrangements that can apply across the UK, ministers reiterated the importance of allowing families and friends to meet in a careful and limited way, while recognising that this will not be a normal festive period and the risks of transmission remain very real.

“Work is continuing to finalise the arrangements, including relating to travel. The UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive hope to conclude this work this week, subject to agreement by each administration.”

However, the severity of the restrictions in the run-up to December 24 will depend on how successful the current lockdown proves to be when it ends on December 2. 

Boris Johnson has said: “Christmas is going to be different this year, perhaps very different, but it’s my sincere hope and belief that by taking tough action now we can allow families across the country to be together.”

Final details of the arrangements for Christmas are expected to be announced later this week, but it looks like you can enjoy a slight bit of normality over the festive period. 

Will the tier restrictions ever come to an end?

On November 20, ministers claimed that the recent vaccine news was “a ray of light” which may bring an end to the tiered lockdowns and reintroduce normality. The Government’s plans to vaccinate 44 million adults before April 2021 was praised by the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, who shared he was “more and more confident” that life will be closer to normality in the spring.

Read more: Working lunches in the pub could be exempt