UK lockdown: How England’s stringent three-tier system will impact your staycation

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From Wednesday, England is expected to be carved up into three tiers with restrictions placed on each area depending on their levels of coronavirus transmission. The Liverpool city region will be placed in the most serious “very high” risk category preventing mixing between different households indoors. The medium alert level will cover most of England and will consist of the current national measures, including the rule of six and the 10pm curfew.

But what does the new system mean for your UK holiday?

Express.co.uk has gathered together the latest information so you can plan your UK holiday safely.

What are the three tiers?

The new tier system means there will be restrictions in different parts of the UK.

The three tiers are “medium”, “high” and “very high”.

In the “medium” tier, the current restrictions will apply which means people can meet in a group of up to six people from multiple households either indoors or outdoors.

Unlike in Scotland and Wales, the six includes children.

Pubs, bars and restaurants must close at 10pm and face coverings must be worn while shopping, on public transport and in other indoor areas.

These restrictions will cover most of England.

The “high” alert tier means that people cannot meet with anyone they do not live with indoors unless they are part of a support bubble.

The rule of six applies for socialising outside, and pubs, bars and restaurants have a 10pm curfew.

This category applies to areas in northwest and northeast England as well as the Midlands.

The “very high” alert level means people cannot socialise with anyone outside their household in any indoor and many outdoor settings.

But the Rule of Six applies in open public spaces like parks and beaches.

Pubs and bars will be forced to close unless they are operating as a restaurant.

This currently applies to the region of Liverpool City.

The government has said people should not be travelling in and out of “very high” tiers except for essential purposes such as work and school.

People can also pass through the “very high” tier.

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Can I holiday in a higher tier?

There are currently no legal restrictions stopping you from travelling between tiers, although, the government is urging people not to move to or from the two higher tiers.

The government website reads: “People should try to avoid travelling outside the ‘Very High’ area they are in, or entering a ‘Very High’ area, other than for things like work, education, accessing youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if they are in transit.”

Can I stay in a hotel or book accommodation?

The government website also says that people should avoid staying overnight in other parts of the UK if they are from a “Very High” tier.

It reads: “People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are resident in a ‘Very High’ area, or avoid staying overnight in a ‘Very High’ area if they are resident elsewhere.”

If you have booked a hotel or accommodation in a “very high” area, you should contact the owner or company as soon as possible to discuss your options.

The same goes for if you are from a “very high” alert area.

You may be able to get a refund or postpone your stay for a later date.

Can I travel to devolved nations in the UK?

Wales

There are currently tighter restrictions in 16 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.

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.

The Welsh government website reads: “People who live somewhere with no local restrictions in place are free to travel to anywhere else that has no local restrictions.

“That includes going on holiday inside or outside Wales.”

Today Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford will write to the Prime Minister about restricting people from COVID-19 hotspots in England from travelling to Wales.

Mr Drakeford said he would share evidence that travelling from areas with high prevalence of Covid-19 into areas with low prevalence contributes to the spread of the virus, and would be prepared to block entry into the country.

It comes following concerns that people in English lockdown areas are currently allowed to travel to areas of Wales where there are no restrictions in place and levels of the virus are low.

Scotland

The Scottish government is not imposing mandatory travel restrictions “at this stage”.

However, people living in the five health board areas are advised not to travel outside the health board area they live in, unless they need to and people in other parts of Scotland should not travel to these areas unless they need to.

People who have booked a holiday can still go but they should only travel with and stay with people from their own or extended household.

Those travelling to Scotland from other parts of the UK should follow general guidance on staying safe and seeing friends and family which means regulations such as social distancing, wearing face coverings and practising hand hygiene do apply.

Northern Ireland

There are restrictions in place across the Derry and Strabane areas where cultural attractions remain closed.

The Northern Ireland Executive said: “People living in Derry and Strabane local government district area are required to avoid all unnecessary travel.

“Similarly, people should only travel to the area where it is absolutely necessary.”

There are also regulations in place preventing mixing of households in Northern Ireland, with exceptions for those “bubbling” with another household, and up to six people from up to two households can meet outdoors in a private garden.

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