Half of population now in highest risk categories of England Covid alert system

Coronavirus - (Copyright PA Wire)
13:06pm, Thu 15 Oct 2020
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Half the population of England will now be in either Tier 2 or 3, the highest risk categories, of the Government’s Covid-19 alert system.

The new system in England sees areas put into different categories labelled as medium, high or very high risk.

The medium level is also referred to as Tier 1, high is Tier 2 and very high is Tier 3.

Liverpool City Region, comprising 1.6 million people, remains the only area currently in Tier 3.

A further 26.7 million people will now be covered by the Tier 2 restrictions.

But what are the differences between the tiers and how has the country been carved up?

HEALTH Coronavirus - (Copyright PA Graphics)

– What happens if your area is in Tier 3?

In Tier 3 areas, those categorised as very high risk, social mixing is banned both indoors and in private gardens, while pubs and bars must close unless they can operate as a restaurant.

The rule of six applies in some outdoor settings such as parks, public gardens and sports courts.

England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said on Monday that he was “not confident” that the “base case” for Tier 3 proposals “would be enough to get on top of it”.

HEALTH Coronavirus - (Copyright PA Graphics)

Local leaders will help to determine whether other venues should be closed, such as gyms or casinos.

Shops and places of worship can remain open, as can schools and colleges.

Universities must reflect wider restrictions with the option to move to greater online provision.

Up to 15 guests are allowed at weddings and 30 people can attend funerals, with 15 allowed at wakes, but wedding receptions are not permitted.

Liverpool is under Tier 3 restrictions (Richard McCarthy/PA) - (Copyright PA Wire)

People living in Tier 3 areas are advised against overnight stays in other parts of the UK and people should avoid travel where possible in and out of the area.

As of Thursday morning, the only area in Tier 3 was the Liverpool City Region, affecting 1.6 million.

– What happens in Tier 2 and where is affected?

Areas categorised as high risk, those in Tier 2, will see household mixing banned indoors while the rule of six will continue to apply outdoors.

People must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they live with them or have formed a support bubble with them.

Up to 15 guests will be allowed at weddings and up to 30 people allowed at funerals, with 15 allowed at receptions and wakes.

Shops, gyms, all education settings, and places of worship will remain open, with overnight stays permitted.

Places of worship can stay open in Tier 2 (PA) - (Copyright PA Archive)

The travel advice for those living in Tier 2 is to reduce the number of journeys they take where possible and avoid travel into very high Tier 3 areas.

When announcing the new tier system, the Prime Minister said most areas which were already subject to local restrictions would be placed in Tier 2.

As of Thursday morning, areas in Tier 2 include Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Durham, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Tees Valley, West Midlands, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.

London, Essex, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield and Erewash will move to Tier 2 from 0001 on Saturday.

The total number of people now in Tier 2, counting the population of all of the above areas, is 26.7 million.

– What restrictions are placed on areas in Tier 1?

Areas classed as medium risk, those in Tier 1, will be subject to the same national measures which currently apply across the whole country.

These include the 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants and a ban on most gatherings of more than six people.

Up to 15 guests will be allowed at weddings and up to 30 people allowed at funerals, with 15 allowed at receptions and wakes.

Guests are allowed at wedding receptions in Tier 1 (Niall Carson/PA) - (Copyright PA Wire)

Shops, gyms, all education settings, and places of worship will remain open, with overnight stays permitted and no travel restrictions within the area.

People are advised to avoid travel into Tier 3 areas where possible.

The total number of people currently in Tier 1 stands at 28 million.

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