Can I meet friends and family? The latest social rules for the three levels explained


The three-tier lockdown system sees every town and city in Britain assigned a local Covid alert level with specific rules in a bid to simplify restrictions as Downing Street seeks to curb infections

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The new three-tier lockdown system was presented by Boris Johnson on Monday as the government seeks to step up the fight against a second wave of coronavirus.

Coming into force from Wednesday, each region in the UK has been assigned one of three local Covid alert levels, which will be regularly reviewed.

For example, the Liverpool area is below level 3 with closed pubs and additional restrictions tailored to the area also closing betting shops, gyms and casinos.

But what does the new three-tier alert system mean for meeting family and friends where you live?

Boris Johnson announced the new system on Monday



The decision on which tier towns or cities will be put in place – or whether they will go up or down – will not be based solely on infection rates.

Local leaders, Public Health England and the Joint Biosecurity Center – who have already looked at growth rates and the number of people hospitalized – will determine when areas move from one level to another.

To help people understand what the restrictions are in their area, the government will make a postcode checker available.

Liverpool and the region are the only Level 3 area, and although most of the country is rated at ‘medium’ risk and not subject to additional restrictions, some 17 million people are at ‘high’ or ‘very high risk. “.

Level 1

Shoppers on Oxford Street in London


AFP via Getty Images)

The “medium” risk level is affected by current national restrictions such as the rule of six, the 10pm curfew and the rules on face masks and maintaining social distancing.

Much of southern England is at level 1.

People living in these areas – the majority of England – cannot meet more than six people and cannot see their friends having a drink after 10pm.

Friends can still get together, including at social events as well as in pubs and restaurants, as long as the “rule of six”, social distancing guidelines and personal hygiene practices are followed.

Meetings in a private garden during the day are permitted, but only for a maximum of six people, unless the participants are from the same household or members of a related household.

Weddings and civil union ceremonies involving family and friends – as well as some other public gatherings – have a maximum of 15 guests.

Level 2

People outside a cafe in Haworth, West Yorkshire



This high-risk level covers a large part of the North-East and the North-West.

It primarily covers areas of the UK already subject to localized restrictions such as Greater Manchester, as well as large parts of Yorkshire.

Households and the various supportive bubbles cannot come together in any interior setting, whether at home or in public.

But people can socialize in private gardens although the rule of six applies.

This means that you cannot have someone outside of your household in your house and you cannot enter someone else’s house.

It is also forbidden to socialize with anyone outside your household in pubs, restaurants or any other indoor setting.

As long as the rule of six is ​​respected, up to six people can meet in an outdoor public setting.

Level 3

People out and about in Liverpool city center


Julian Hamilton / Daily Mirror)

Currently, only the city of Liverpool region should be placed in this highest level.

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Level 3 restrictions prohibit meeting anyone outside of your home or bubble of support, both indoors and in private gardens.

This ban will also apply to any type of hotel business or paid place outside – like beer gardens, with pubs forced to close.

And people in Level 3 zones will have their wedding receptions banned – although up to 15 people are still allowed at a ceremony.

Somewhat confusingly, however, restaurants can remain open, and pubs that serve “substantial meals,” such as a main meal for lunch or dinner, can function and serve alcohol as part of the process. a meal.

Employees of any business who are asked to close under the level three restrictions will be entitled to 67% of their salary as long as the restrictions remain in effect.

Level 3 areas will be reviewed every 28 days.


About Marjorie C. Hudson

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