What are the rules for a Tier 2 area?

Shoppers in facemasks in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Shoppers in facemasks in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

MPs are due to vote on a tougher tier system in England to follow when the second national lockdown ends on December 2 - but what does that mean for Norfolk? 

The vote, due to take place today (Tuesday, December 1), will mean a continuation of the three-tier approach and would see 99pc of the country placed in the two highest levels of restrictions. 

Norfolk is expected to remain in Tier 2. 

So what exactly are the rules and what guidelines will need to be followed? 

Currently this is what is expected in Tier 2 areas: 

  • No mixing of households indoors aside from support bubbles will be allowed, with a maximum gathering of six permitted outdoors. 

  • Pubs and bars will remain closed unless operating as restaurants, with alcohol only served as part of a “substantial meal” until 10pm, before venues must close at 11pm. 

  • All retail, leisure and personal care services are able to reopen. 

  • People will be encouraged to reduce the number of journeys they make and to avoid travelling into Tier 3 areas, except for reasons of education or work. 

  • Overnight stays will only be permitted for those in the same household or support bubble and accommodation can open. 

  • Places of worship can reopen, but people must not interact with anyone outside their household or support bubble. 

  • Fifteen guests will be allowed at weddings and civil partnerships, increasing to 30 for funerals. 

  • Classes and organised sport can take place outdoors but not indoors if there is any interaction between two different households. 

  • Large events including sport and live performances will be open to the public but limited to 50pc capacity or 2,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors. 

Prime minister Boris Johnson is due to announce new post-lockdown coronavirus measures on Monday, November 23. Photo...

Prime minister, Boris Johnson - Credit: PA

More than 55 million people will be placed into Tier 2 and Tier 3 measures on December 2, meaning mixing between households indoors will effectively be banned for the vast majority of the country. 

Only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, accounting for little more than 1pc of England's population, face the lightest Tier 1 coronavirus restrictions. 

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Large swathes of the Midlands, North East and North West are in the most restrictive Tier 3, which accounts for 41.5pc of the population, or 23.3 million people. 

The majority of authorities, including London, will be in Tier 2, which will cover 57.3pc of the country, or 32 million people. 

Five factors are considered when placing areas into tier. These are case detection rates in all age groups, case detection rates in the over 60s, the rate at which cases are rising or falling, the positivity rate, the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken, and pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy. 

A number of the PM's Conservative colleagues have been openly critical of the three-tier system but the government is expected to win today's Commons vote on the new rules - which are due to come into effect the following day - after Labour said it would abstain. 

The first review of the tiers is set for December 16 and prime minister, Boris Johnson, has said the allocation of tiers will be reviewed every 14 days from that date and suggested mass testing could make households exempt from restrictions. 

The Tier 2 high coronavirus restructions after the lockdown is lifted on December 2, 2020. Picture: HM Government/NHS

Tier 2 restrictions - Credit: HM Government/NHS

He also said that at the first review of the measures in mid-December he would move areas down a tier where there is "robust evidence" that coronavirus is in sustained decline. 

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