What are the different tiers?
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.
These go from tier 1, where the risk of coronavirus spread is described as medium, to tier 3, where the risk is described as very high.
These local restrictions are on top of the general advice and guidance given in England on how to protect yourself against contracting the virus – frequent washing of hands, face coverings on public transport and within enclosed spaces, and social distancing by staying at least 2 metres apart (or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions).
Coventry has been placed in Tier 2
What are the additional COVID-19 restrictions for Tier 2?
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.
- Tradespeople can continue to go into a household for work.
- The rule of six continues to apply for socialising outdoors, for instance in a garden or public space like a park or beach.
- Businesses and venues can continue to operate, but pubs and restaurants must ensure that customers consume food and drink only while seated, and close between 10pm and 5am.
- Takeaway food can continue to be sold after 10pm if ordered online or by phone.
- Schools and universities remain open.
- Places of worship remain open, but people may not mingle in groups of more than six.
- Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the numbers attending (15 and 30 respectively).
- 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.
What is a support bubble?
A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size.
Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in one household with people from the other household. It means you can have close contact with that household as if they were members of your own household. Once you make a support bubble, you should not change who is in your bubble.
What is the rule of 6?
The rule of 6 applies to meeting others outside your household in a group of no more than six individuals. As of Wednesday 14th October, this only applies to outdoor settings.
Are hospitality venues, i.e. pubs and restaurants, still open?
Yes, hospitality venues remain open with a 10pm closing time and table service only. However, additional Tier 2 restrictions means you can only go to them with members of your household or support bubble indoors. Outdoors, the rile of six applies.
Can I visit a friend/relative in a care home?
Essential and compassionate visiting, either for health reasons or end of life care, can continue as long as appropriate infection prevention measures are in place. However, non-essential visiting – both indoor and outdoor – can no longer take place due to the additional restrictions.
Are leisure centres and gyms open?
Yes, these remain open but please ensure you adhere to strict social distancing measures. Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors and indoors, as long as people are able to avoid mixing with other households.
Why can I go to the workplace, school or hospitality venues, but I can’t visit other households?
Tier 2 restrictions mean that you can only meet others outside your household or support bubble in an outdoor setting. We understand that it can be frustrating to be able to go to these certain places but not visit your family and friends within their household. However, the reason that these restrictions have come in place is that the data shows that the infection rate has risen mainly due to social interactions, particularly in private household gatherings.
Can I still meet other households in outdoor public spaces e.g. local parks?
Yes, these rules only apply to the home and garden. However, you must still follow the national guidelines and the rule of six.
Can I go to meet a friend or relative in their home in an area not subject to these restrictions?
No – and they cannot come to your home either. Separate households cannot mix either at home, or in other indoor settings.
Do these tier two rules follow me if I travel outside my area?
It depends where you go. If you live in Coventry, you must abide by the tier two restrictions when you go to places within either a tier one or a tier two area But if you are visiting a tier three area, you must follow the tier three restrictions. If you are from a tier one area and are visiting Coventry, you must abide by the tier two rules in place in Coventry.
Can I move home?
Yes, you can still move home if you’re in a high alert level area. Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work and people looking to move home can continue to undertake viewings.
Are places of worship still open?
Yes, but they should adhere to social distancing measures and you can only visit with people in your household/support bubble.
Can I still travel to work or school?
Yes, but workplaces and schools must ensure they are implementing measures to make themselves Covid-secure.
Can I travel to University?
Yes, Students living at their university term time address in a high alert level area should follow the same guidance on meeting other people and travel as others in that area. Commuter students (those who live at a family home and travel to/from university each day) should be able to continue to travel to/from their university as required, this being for education purposes.
Can I have someone in my house (or go into someone’s house) to do repairs or other work?
You can go to other people’s homes for work purposes as long as you follow national guidance on how to work safely there. This includes limiting contact with customers, explaining your safety measures to them, making sure your staff are properly trained and understand what they need to do and avoiding crowded areas. Check before you go if anyone in your customers’ house has symptoms.
Can I go to a wedding or a funeral?
Funerals must only take place in COVID-secure venues or in public outdoor spaces with up to 30 people in attendance. Wakes or linked ceremonial events (such as stone-settings) before or after the funeral are limited to 15 people and must not take place in private homes. Where food or drink is consumed, this should be in the form of a sit-down meal.
Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions must only take place in COVID-secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances. Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and wedding receptions are restricted to 15 people. Receptions should be sit down meals to ensure people can keep their distance from each other, and mustn’t take place in private dwellings.
People living outside of a high alert level area can travel to this area to attend an event, but they must not meet with another household indoors.
Is shielding being reintroduced?
No. Individuals who were previously told to shield should continue to observe strict social distancing measures with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. They should follow the same guidance as the rest of the city. These new restrictions only apply to the mixing of households in private homes and gardens. For further information please visit: Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.
What do I do if I see people breaking the rules?
If you encounter individuals breaching the restrictions, you can fill out a reporting breach of restrictions form with West Midlands Police.
How long can we expect these restrictions to go on for?
These restrictions will go on for as long as is needed to bring down the coronavirus rates of infection. They will be reviewed regularly with Government.
Family members/friends provide essential childcare which enables me to go to work and without their support I have a huge problem. How am I meant to cope if my children cannot go to their house and they cannot come to mine?
The Government has announced that grandparents, extended family members and others who provide either formal or informal care for children aged up to 14 or vulnerable adults are exempt from local lockdown measures where it is necessary for caring purposes. See the full guidance for more information.
Am I allowed to go on holiday?
Yes, you can still go on holiday outside of high alert level areas, but you must only do this with people in your household or support bubble. Please check the area you are visiting for local restrictions. If you are travelling abroad, please check with your booking agent and also for any associated quarantine conditions on your return.
Can I travel?
You may continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, for work, voluntary, charitable or youth services, or to access education, within a high alert level area, but you should and aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible. If you need to travel we encourage you to walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel.
It is difficult to socially distance during car journeys and transmission of coronavirus can occur in this context. So, you should avoid travelling with someone from outside your household or your support bubble unless you can practise social distancing. You should also avoid travelling to any part of the country subject to very high local COVID alert levels.
Can I meet with a household from another flat inside the property where I live?
No. The Government’s definition of a household is one person living alone, or a group of people (not necessarily related) living at the same address who share cooking facilities and share a living room, sitting room or dining area. Therefore, people who live in different self-contained flats cannot meet with each other.
Will I be fined if I am caught having a meeting in a group that is illegal?
Yes. Meeting in larger groups is against the law, although there are certain exceptions. The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups, which includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fixed penalty notice fines.
You can be fined £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.