What are the rules in my area? How lockdown restrictions differ in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales after three tier system comes into place

The measures in place to stop the spread of coronavirus are not aligned across the UK

Thursday, 15th October 2020, 1:19 pm

New coronavirus restrictions came into place for Scotland on Friday 9 October. Shortly after, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new lockdown measures for England, which came into place on Wednesday 14 October, with parts of north west England hit hardest by stricter restrictions.

However, the measures in place to stop the spread of coronavirus are not aligned across the UK, with the introduction of England's new ‘three tier’ system differing from rules in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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Here’s how coronavirus lockdown restrictions vary depending on where you live in the UK.

The measures in place to stop the spread of coronavirus are not aligned across the UK (Photo: Shutterstock)
The measures in place to stop the spread of coronavirus are not aligned across the UK (Photo: Shutterstock)

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What are the current rules in Scotland?

New national measures came into place in Scotland on Friday 9 October, with the hospitality sector particularly affected.

From Friday 9 October at 6pm, until 6am on Monday 26 October, all hospitality premises may only open indoors between 6am and 6pm, with no sale of alcohol.

However, all premises may open outdoors until 10pm, including for the sale of alcohol, if they are licensed to do so.

A maximum of six people from two households can meet in hospitality settings.

Takeaways are exempt from these rules, subject to local licensing, and wedding receptions may continue with alcohol, with a 20 person limit in place.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also warned people not to visit Blackpool, saying it is “associated with a large and growing number of Covid cases in Scotland”.

Central Belt restrictions

Alongside these national measures, tighter restrictions came into place on Saturday 10 October for five Central Belt areas, including the health board regions of Lothian, Lanarkshire, Forth Valley, Ayrshire & Arran, and Greater Glasgow & Clyde.

Licensed premises must close, but only the parts of a licensed premises where food or drink are served have to close. For example, the bar in a licensed clubhouse would have to close, but the shop could remain open.

Licensed cafes may open from 6am to 6pm, but without the sale or consumption of alcohol, and unlicensed premises may also open between 6am and 6pm.

Current meeting rules of a maximum of six people from two households also apply.

Again, takeaways are exempt from these rules in these five health board areas, subject to local licensing, and wedding receptions may continue with alcohol with a 20 person limit in place.

How many people can mix in Scotland?

Measures in place for the entire country in regard to social mixing remain in place. This includes not meeting people from any other households in your home or another person’s home socially, unless they are in your extended household.

You can meet people outside, in your garden or a public space, in groups of up to six people from no more than two households (not counting under-12s).

What are the new rules in place for England?

A three tier system came into place in England on Wednesday 14 October.

There are three different Local Covid Alert Levels - medium, high and very high.

What you can and cannot do will vary depending on the level your area falls into. Currently, only the Liverpool City Region has been placed into the ‘very high’ alert level category.

Tier 1 - Medium

10pm curfew for bars, pubs and restaurants You must not socialise in groups larger than six, indoors or outdoors

Tier 2 - High

You must not socialise with anybody outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place You must not socialise in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or other spaces like beaches or parks

Tier 3 - Very high

You must not socialise with anybody you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden You must not socialise in a group of more than six in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue Pubs and bars must close. They can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant, which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal Schools and universities remain open Places of worship remain open, but household mixing is not permitted Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees Wedding receptions are not allowed Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with), or for youth or disability sport

For the full list of local lockdown restrictions, visit the government website.

What rules are in place for Northern Ireland?

Throughout the entire country, households are not allowed to mix indoors in private homes.

However, there are exemptions for:

bubbling with one other household caring responsibilities, including childcare building or maintenance work, or the services of any trade or profession supported living arrangements visits required for legal or medical purposes a business operating from a person’s home a funeral a house move marriage or civil partnership ceremony in a private dwelling where one partner is terminally ill

Up to six people from no more than two households in NI can meet up outdoors in a private garden, but social distancing should be maintained.

If you live in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area, then additional localised restrictions are in place. Visit the government website for further information.

From 6pm on Friday 16 October, new restrictions will come into place for a period of four weeks.

This includes:

bubbling limited to a maximum of 10 people from two households no overnight stays in a private home unless in a bubble closure of the hospitality sector apart from deliveries and takeaways for food, with the existing closing time of 11pm remaining other takeaway premises will be brought in line with hospitality with a closing time of 11pm close contact services such as hairdressers and beauticians are not permitted to open, apart from those relating to the continuation of essential health interventions and therapeutics no indoor sport of any kind or organised contact sport involving household mixing other than at elite level no mass events involving more than 15 people (except for allowed outdoor sporting events where the relevant number for that will continue to apply) gyms may remain open but for individual training only with local enforcement in place funerals to be limited to 25 people with no pre- or post-funeral gatherings off licenses and supermarkets will not sell alcohol after 8pm

From Monday 19 October, wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships will be limited to 25 people with no receptions.

What lockdown restrictions are in place for Wales?

The following rules are in place for the whole of Wales:

People are not allowed to meet socially anywhere indoors with people they don’t live with, including at home, in the pub or elsewhere. If you have formed an (exclusive) extended household, then you can meet indoors in a group of up to six members of that extended household at any one time (under-11s are not included when counting the six as long as they are part of that extended household) People must not gather outdoors in groups of more than 30 Face coverings are mandatory in indoor public spaces, including on public transport and in taxis Licensed premises must not sell alcohol after 10pm

However, local restrictions are in place in some parts of Wales. Restrictions vary depending on where you live, but extended households are not available in areas with local restrictions.

First Minister for Wales, Mark Drakeford, has also said the country will ban entry to people travelling from parts of the UK with high levels of Covid-19 by Friday (16 October), if Prime Minister Boris Johnson fails to introduce UK-wide travel restrictions.