Tier Two – What Does it Mean?

England’s three tier system is coming back when lockdown 2.0 ends on 2 December. From 00:01 GMT on Wednesday Titchmarsh will be under Covid restrictions in the tier two (high alert) category for England. Many people may be wondering what does this new category mean? Afterall, we’re already in a lockdown – so what’s going to change? Below is a summary of how it will affect us and what we can do:

Meeting friends and family

  • From 2 December you will no longer be required to stay at home whenever possible.
  • You will not be allowed to mix with anyone from outside your household or support bubble indoors, either in a private home or a public place.
  • You can socialise in groups of up to six people outdoors – either in private gardens or public places.
  • Support bubbles can be formed between one household and another which contains only one adult – with some exceptions.
  • You can also form a support bubble with another household if you have a child under one, or a child under five with a disability that needs continuous care.

Going to work

  • You should work at home if at all possible.
  • If you have to return to your workplace, your employer must make arrangements for you to work safely.

Schools and nurseries

  • Primary and secondary schools are open, as are nurseries and childcare.
  • If a school has coronavirus cases, local health protection teams will advise what to do.
  • All pupils and staff in secondary schools (Year 7 and above) must wear face coverings in communal areas outside the classroom.
  • Universities remain open, but students have been asked to return home for the holidays in a travel window between 3 and 9 December and complete the term online from there.

Leisure time

  • From 2 December pubs and bars may open only if they are operating as restaurants.
  • Alcohol may be served in pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants but only as part of a substantial meal.
  • Licensed premises must be table service only, stop taking orders at 22:00 GMT and close at 23:00.
  • Entertainment venues can reopen.
  • Gyms and leisure facilities such as swimming pools can reopen.
  • Exercise classes and organised adult sport can take place outdoors, but not indoors if it involves people from different households mixing.
  • Organised activities for elite athletes, under-18s and disabled people can continue.
  • Sports events and live performances can open to spectators – up to 50% capacity or 2,000 people outdoors (1,000 people indoors) – whichever is lower.


  • From 2 December all retail outlets can reopen.


  • From 2 December you will be allowed to stay overnight away from your home with members of your household or support bubble.
  • Places of worship will reopen for communal services. Worshippers should not interact with anyone from outside their household or support bubble.
  • Weddings, civil partnerships and receptions can take place once more, with up to 15 guests.
  • You should reduce the number of journeys you make where possible, and avoid travelling into tier three areas unless necessary.

Remember, these rules take effect from December 2nd. For more details, visit Public Health England »

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