The latest local lockdown restrictions in York, Lancashire, Essex and Manchester

Boris Johnson has unveiled a three-tier Covid alert system, which will see different parts of the country placed in different categories dependent on rates of infection, with areas in the highest level facing the toughest restrictions.

The first alert level, Tier 1 which is medium, covers most of the country and consists of the current national measures, such as the rule of six and the closure of hospitality at 10pm.

The second alert level, Tier 2 which is highbans the mixing of households or support bubbles in any indoor setting, however separate households can meet outdoors and in private gardens providing that the rule of six is followed.

Areas already under restrictions will automatically move into the high alert level, and – as a result of increasing infection rates – Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire and a small area of High Peak will also move into the high alert level. 

According to a list released by Number 10, the Greater Manchester, Warrington, Derbyshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, North East, Tees Valley, West Midlands and Leicester areas all fall under Tier 2. 

London, Essex, Elmbridge, Barrow in Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield and Erewash moved to Tier 2 at midnight on Saturday 17 October.

Boris Johnson has signalled that he will not force Manchester to go into Tier 3 restrictions as he said he would “much rather not impose things” on the city.

The very high alert level – Tier 3 – the most severe on the system – will “apply where transmission rates are rising most rapidly and where the NHS could soon be under unbearable pressure without further restrictions”.

In these areas, social mixing indoors and in private gardens will be banned and pubs and bars will be closed.

“We want to create the maximum possible local consensus behind this more severe local action,” Boris Johnson said.

“So in each area we will work with local government leaders on the additional measures which should be taken. This could lead to further restrictions on the hospitality, leisure, entertainment or personal care sectors.” 

However, retail, schools and universities will remain open in these areas.

The Liverpool City region, which includes Knowsley, Wirral, St Helens, Sefton and Halton, has been placed under Tier 3 restrictions, or the very high alert level.

Lancashire is under the same restrictions, after a last-ditch deal was agreed with the Government with an extra £12million funding package. 

This means that all social mixing indoors and in private gardens is prohibited, and pubs and bars will be closed. In addition to these measures, gyms and leisure centres, betting centres, adult game centres and casinos will also close.

Discussions are continuing with community leaders in Greater Manchester, who are resisting efforts for them to move into Tier 3.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own devolved governments and separate health systems. Pubs across central Scotland closed for just over two weeks to try to cut close-contact transmission, and there is a ban on hosting other households indoors across the country. 

Here’s everything we know about the local lockdown restrictions. 

What is the three-tier system?

Local lockdowns are to be automatically triggered by a three-tier Covid alert level system, which divides the country into different areas based on local infection rates, which will dictate the severity of local lockdowns.

It will work alongside the NHS Test and Trace app, where people scan a special QR code to enter and exit pubs, restaurants and bars. The app will send a message to the user about lockdown conditions when the coronavirus risk profile changes.

In England, there are currently no areas in the UK that are considered low risk by the new app.

England will be divided into one of three tiers, each of which will have predetermined restrictions.

Tier one, or medium alert level, covers most of the country and consists of the current national measures, such as the rule of six and the closure of hospitality at 10pm.

Tier two, or high alert level, bans households or support bubbles from meeting each other indoors. However separate households can meet outdoors and in public gardens providing that the rule of six is followed.

Tier three, or very high alert level, bans social mixing indoors and in private gardens altogether, and bars and pubs will be closed as a baseline. However, the Government will decide with local authorities on whether further measures, including further restrictions on the hospitality, leisure, entertainment and personal care sectors. Retail, schools and universities will still remain open in these areas.

Which areas are in local lockdown and what are the rules?

Liverpool

The Liverpool City region, which includes Knowsley, Wirral, St Helens, Sefton and Halton, has been placed under Tier 3 restrictions, or the very high alert level.

This means that all social mixing indoors and in private gardens is prohibited, and pubs and bars will be closed. In addition to these measures, gyms and leisure centres, betting centres, adult game centres and casinos will also close.

These restrictions came into effect on Wednesday 14 October.

The North West and North East and Yorkshire are seeing the fastest rise in hospital cases, with Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust experiencing the steepest increase. The Trust now has more than 250 Covid-19 patients in its beds. 

Read more: Can I go on holiday in local lockdown?

Lancashire

Lancashire has also been placed under Tier 3 restrictions. 

The Government has pledged an extra £30 million to help with the local test, trace and isolate system and will create a ministerial-led task force with additional funding to work with Lancashire leaders to support local businesses to recover over the coming six months.  

The rules:

  • People must not socialise with anybody they do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events
  • People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue
  • All pubs and bars must close, unless they are serving substantial meals
  • People should try to avoid travelling outside the very-high alert level or entering a very-high alert level area, other than for work, education or for caring responsibilities or to travel through as part of a longer journey
  • Residents should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK, and others should avoid staying overnight in the Very High Alert area

In addition, following discussions with local leaders it was agreed that from October 19 at 12.01am:

  • The adult gaming industry, casinos, bingo halls, bookmakers and betting shops, and soft play areas must close.
  • Car boot sales would not be permitted 

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, said: “An unrelenting rise in cases in Lancashire means we must act now, and we have worked intensively with local leaders to agree on additional restrictions.

“I know how heavy these additional challenges will weigh on everyday life for the people of Lancashire – but they are critical in bringing this virus under control.”

Greater Manchester, Warrington and Cheshire 

Greater Manchester, Warrington and Cheshire have all been placed under Tier 2 restrictions.

A standoff between the Government and local leaders continues, with Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham leading calls for more financial support for high risk areas.

Boris Johnson signalled he would not force Manchester to go into Tier 3 restrictions as he said he would “much rather not impose things” on the city but warned he will intervene and impose restrictions on Greater Manchester if an agreement cannot be struck, heaping pressure on the mayor.

The Prime Minister told a Downing Street press conference: “On recent trends, in just over two weeks there will be more Covid patients in intensive care than at the peak of the first wave so I urge the mayor to reconsider and engage constructively.

“I cannot stress enough: time is of the essence. Each day that passes before action is taken means more people will go to hospital, more people will end up in intensive care and tragically more people will die.

“Of course, if agreement cannot be reached I will need to intervene in order to protect Manchester’s hospitals and save the lives of Manchester’s residents. But our efforts would be so much more effective if we work together.”

Affected areas include Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Manchester, Bolton, Bury, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, Salford, Rochdale, Oldham and Warrington.

Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham is furious at the Government and said he will not allow the people he represents to be treated like “canaries in the coalmine for an experimental, regional lockdown strategy”.

Mr Burnham says that the “very least” the Government should be offering the people of Greater Manchester is a “full and fair” 80 per cent furlough scheme for all affected workers, in addition to 80 per cent support for people who are self-employed.

“Imposing damaging regional lockdowns in this way won’t work,” he said.

“This is an important moment. Greater Manchester will stand firm. We are fighting back for the health of our people.

“It is wrong to place some of the poorest parts of England in a punishing lockdown without proper financial support,” he said.

Neighbouring Lancashire this morning agreed a deal with the Government to be put into tier three in exchange for a £42 million support package.

It gives ministers extra leverage over Mr Burnham and his fellow leaders in Manchester, as Mr Johnson is likely to argue that Manchester is now an outlier after Liverpool and Lancashire both complied.

North East and Tees Valley

The North East and Tees Valley have been placed under Tier 2 restrictions.

This includes Newcastle, South Tyneside, North Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland, Durham, Northumberland, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington and Hartlepool.

West Yorkshire and Leeds

West Yorkshire and Leeds have been placed under Tier 2 restrictions.

The areas affected include Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield.

Read more: Can I meet up with friends and family, and can grandparents look after their grandchildren now?

Wales including Cardiff, Swansea and Llanelli

Two-thirds of the population of Wales are now living in lockdown, including the country’s capital Cardiff plus Swansea and Llanelli.

Under the more general lockdown rules in Wales, licensed premises have to stop selling alcohol at 10pm, face coverings are mandatory in indoor public spaces and public transport, and people cannot gather in groups of more than 30 outdoors.

The rules also say people are not allowed to meet indoors with people they do not live with, unless they have formed an extended household.

People in Wales can meet indoors in a group of up to six people, with children under 11 not included in the number.

There are currently tighter local restrictions in 17 areas of Wales, including Cardiff, Swansea and parts of North Wales, affecting more than 2.3 million people.

These prohibit people from entering or leaving an area without a reasonable excuse such as work or education and extended households cannot be formed.

The country’s health minister Vaughan Gething has also said Wales could be placed under a new national lockdown in order to halt a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

Meanwhile, First Minister Mark Drakeford said Wales will ban entry to people from areas of the UK with high levels of coronavirus because Boris Johnson has failed to impose UK-wide travel restrictions.

London

London moved to Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions on October 17, putting around nine million people under new, tighter restrictions. 

Sadiq Khan warned Londoners that they face a “difficult winter ahead” adding that “no one wants to see restrictions, but these are necessary”.

Rates are currently 97 per 100,000 and rising, and there will now be a ban on different households meeting indoors.

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.

The “Rule of Six” will continue to apply outdoors and in private gardens.

In a statement, Mr Khan said that the measures were necessary but he would still like to go further and see a national circuit breaker.

“It is clear that the virus is now spreading rapidly in every part of our city, and hospital and ICU admissions are steadily rising,” he said.

“Time and again it has been shown that it is better to act earlier than to act too late – which would cost more lives and damage more livelihoods. I am not willing to put Londoners’ lives at risk and we must do all we can to minimise economic damage.

“That is why, following discussions between me, ministers and our city’s senior health advisers and council leaders, the Government will move London into tier 2 restrictions – alert level high – from the start of Saturday.

“This will mean Londoners will not be able to mix between different households indoors – which includes in their homes and inside pubs and restaurants. Londoners should also aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible.

South Yorkshire 

South Yorkshire has been placed under Tier 2 restrictions. 

Areas affected include Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster and Sheffield.

Derbyshire

Derbyshire has been placed under Tier 2 restrictions.

Areas affected include various wards of High Peak: Tintwistle, Padfield, Dinting, St John’s, Old Glossop, Whitfield, Simmondley, Gamesley, Howard Town, Hadfield South and Hadfield North.

West Midlands, Leicester and Nottingham

West Midlands, Leicester and Nottingham have been put under Tier 2 restrictions.

In the West Midlands, areas affected include Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Wolverhampton and Walsall.

In Leicester, this is Leicester and Oadby and Wigston.

In Nottingham, this is Nottinghamshire and Nottingham City. 

Scotland

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said England’s tiered alert system would “give an idea” of a similar scheme to be proposed in Scotland.

It will be discussed by MSPs after the October recess and could come into effect when stricter measures are due to be eased on October 25.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes outside central Scotland can only conduct indoor business between 6am and 6pm and not serve alcohol, although alcoholic drinks can be served until 10pm in outdoor areas.

But pubs and licensed restaurants in five health board areas – Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian, and Forth Valley – have been forced to close for all but takeaway service until October 26.

Snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling, casinos and bingo halls have also been made to close and no outdoor live events are allowed in these five areas.

In addition, shops have been asked to return to two metres of physical distancing and to reintroduce measures from earlier in the pandemic such as one-way systems.

In terms of seeing friends and family, people cannot meet others from another household unless they are part of an “extended household”, available to people who live alone or only with children under 18.

People can meet outdoors in groups of up to six, not including children under 12, from no more than two households, and a maximum of six people from two households can meet in public indoor spaces such as cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Ms Sturgeon has advised Scots against travelling to high-risk areas of England as she singled out Blackpool as “associated with a large and growing number of Covid cases in Scotland”.

Northern Ireland

The rules: Arlene Foster has announced new restrictions in Northern Ireland.

Pubs and restaurants are closed for four weeks, with the exception of takeaways and deliveries, while schools will close on Monday October 19 for two weeks – one of which will cover the half-term Halloween break.

Under the new restrictions, retail outlets will remain open, as will gyms for individual training.

Churches will also remain open and it is understood a 25-person limit will be placed on funerals and weddings, but wedding receptions are prohibited.

People should work from home unless unable to do so, and are urged not to take unnecessary journeys.

How are the restrictions enforced?

The police will be able to take action against those who break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing £100 fixed penalty notices. For repeat offenders, these fines can increase up to £3,200.

People aged 18 or over can be fined:

  • £200 for the first offence, lowered to £100 if paid within 14 days
  • £400 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £6,400

Read more: Will London go into local lockdown?

Should I shield?

Millions of people who shielded during first lockdown will not be told to stay home this time, as health officials admit policy caused “harm” and “left people feeling imprisoned”.

But more than 2 million people who are considered “clinically extremely vulnerable” will be told to take practical steps to reduce exposure to the virus – such as only meeting others outdoors if possible. 

Read more: Covid shielding: The latest government advice for vulnerable people, explained

Can I travel in the lockdown areas?

You should try not to share a car with those outside your household or social bubble. If you need to, the Government advises you to:

  • Share the transport with the same people each time
  • Keep to small groups of people at any one time
  • Open windows for ventilation
  • Travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them
  • Face away from each other
  • Consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
  • Clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
  • Ask the driver and passengers to wear a face mask

Can I visit my family in one of the lockdown areas?

If you are in a Tier 2, or high alert, area, then you cannot meet other households in any indoor setting. However, you can meet other households outdoors and in private gardens providing that the rule of six is followed.

If you are in a Tier 3 then you cannot mix between households. 

What if they want to visit me?

The same rule applies. Even if you live outside the lockdown zone, they are not allowed to come to your home. 

I live in one of these areas. Can I see my family and friends? 

People living in the lockdown zones can meet in outdoor public spaces in groups of up to six people. They will still be required to socially distance

I’m a single parent. What about childcare?

Single parents with children who were under the age of 18 on June 12, 2020, and people who are living alone are allowed to form an alliance with one other household of any size, as long as nobody is shielding. This is called a ‘childcare bubble’.

Someone in one household  can provide informal (unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. 

Government guidance states that each childcare bubble must always be between the same two households.

This can include people in your support bubble and registered childcare providers, such as nannies, and people in your childcare bubble.

Can I go to work? 

There is no restriction on travelling to and from the office, however the advice is to work from home if you can. 

Should I cancel my wedding? 

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are still permitted, with up to 15 people able to attend. However, large receptions or parties afterwards should not go ahead. People can also travel in and out of lockdown zones to attend weddings. 

Funerals with up to 30 attendees can also take place. 

Read more: The latest wedding rules

Can I go to a place of worship? 

You may attend a mosque, church, synagogue, temple or other place or worship, but you should socially distance from people outside of your household. Maintain a distance of two metre, or one metre if you are wearing a mask.

If possible, prayer or religious services should take place outdoors.

Are you in a local lockdown? Tell us how you’re coping in the comments section below