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19 October 2020 22:34

Lancashire Lockdown Government

Tier 1 rules and restrictions on travel explained - and if you can visit Tier 2 areas

It is set to be an unusual half-term, which could cause childcare problems for those who usually rely on friends and relatives such as grandparents to look after their children when they go to work during the week-long school break. Tier 2 laws mean people are banned from visiting households other than their own, except if they have a care bubble formed with another household or a support bubble with a household which contains a single adult. Households are also banned from meeting with each other indoors as the 'rule of six' only applies in Tier 1 areas. I have to go to work during half-term - can friends or relatives such as grandparents look after my children? Assuming the North East isn't moved to Tier 1 (which would see the rule of six implemented), you are allowed to form a childcare bubble with ONE other household.

You are not allowed to arrange for different friends or relatives from more than one household to look after your child. "Friends or family who do not live with you and are not part of a support or childcare bubble must not visit your home to help with childcare. The government has announced that in England, areas deemed to require additional precautionary measures against the spread of coronavirus will be placed in one of three tiers of restrictions. For areas in tier 2, the additional Covid restrictions mean: People are prohibited from socialising with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting. Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors but will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with those they do not live with (or share a support bubble with), or for youth or disability sport.

Travel is permitted to amenities that are open, for work or to access education, but people are advised to reduce the number of journeys where possible. Tier 2 has indoor gatherings banned unless you're in the same household or bubble. Tier 3 extends that ban to beer gardens and private gardens; shuts pubs and bars; and advises against non-essential travel. People in Tier 2 areas are encouraged to avoid public transport where possible, while those in Tier 3 are advised to completely avoid non-essential travel in or out of the zone. However, this guidance - which is not a legal restriction - has exemptions for purposes like school and work.

In Tier 2, this is tightened so venues can't take an indoor booking by a group which has multiple households or bubbles. Now, for all these tiers, there are exemptions for a group that is all from the same household or bubble. So that means it is legal for a pub in Tier 1 to take a booking of nine people - if they're all from the same household. However, you can't get the top level of support unless you're ordered to shut - which isn't happening to salons even in Tier 3. The Tier 2 and 3 laws have a ban on indoor "gatherings" between two or more households or bubbles. The rule the reader is talking about applies in Tier 3 areas, where pubs must shut unless they can operate as a restaurant - and can only serve alcohol with a "substantial meal" such as a main course. Secondly, Tier 3 guidance says you should not travel in and out of the area unless it is essential. How will the government know if people are household mixing? On the face of it, you'd be banned in all three tiers from having this two-household, indoor gathering of more than six people. In this arrangement, people in the childcare bubble can act as though they live in the same household. The new system has introduced stricter limits on social gatherings and household mixing, while pubs and bars in Tier 3 have been forced to close, unless they can operate as a restaurant. People in Tier 1 can travel and go on holiday outside of their local area, including to areas in Tier 2 Areas within this alert level (Tier 1) have the least restrictive rules in place, with residents required to continue following the national restrictions, including the rule of six and the 10pm curfew. People in this tier can continue to travel and go on holiday outside of their local area, including to areas in Tier 2, but this should be within the limitations of the rule of six. As such, this means that people in Portsmouth can still travel to London, which is currently under Tier 2 restrictions. However, the government is urging everyone who lives in a Tier 1 or Tier 2 area to avoid travelling to any part of the country that is subject to 'very high' local Covid alert levels (Tier 3), except for those who need to for work, education or caring responsibilities. Advice also states that people should aim to walk or cycle where they can, and to avoid travelling with someone from outside of your household or support bubble, unless you can observe social distancing. Those who live in 'high' and 'very high' alert areas are subject to more limiting rules, including in regard to travel and holidays. Government guidance states that those in high alert level areas (Tier 2) can continue to travel to hotels and other guest accommodation, but should only do so with people within their household or support bubble. You can still go on holiday outside of high alert level areas, including to areas in Tier 1, but again, this should only be done so with people in your household or support bubble. You must not also stay with anyone you do not live with from a very high alert level area or visit their home. The government advises that you do not travel into or out of an area if it has been categorised as a very high alert level area (Tier 3). People are permitted to travel outside of an area on very high alert in some exceptional circumstances, such as for work, education, to access youth services, or for caring responsibilities. If you are travelling, you must only do so with members of your household or support bubble. Residents in areas on very high alert are also urged to avoid overnight stays in other parts of the UK, unless it is for work, education or caring responsibilities. If you live in a very high alert level area, you may travel to hotels and guest accommodation within that area, but this must only be done with people in your household or support bubble.