Coronavirus: What you need to know
London is moving into Tier 3: Very High alert from 00:01 on Wednesday.
The Government has decided to move London into Tier 3 from 00:01 on the morning of Wednesday 16 December.
Figures show that the virus is accelerating in the wrong direction across London and the lives of Londoners are at risk.
It would be a tragedy to lose even more people to this disease when the vaccine is now being rolled out across our city. It is vital that we now follow the rules very closely to help save as many lives as possible, support our NHS and protect our businesses. It is also how we can avoid even tougher restrictions, for longer, further down the road.
London’s move into Tier 3 is very disappointing for London’s businesses who have already suffered so much this year. The Mayor is asking the Government to urgently improve the support for those sectors that are being hit the hardest, including hospitality, culture, and leisure. If you run or own a business, visit the London Business Hub for the latest guidance.
This is what you need to know about Tier 3 rules for London, starting at 0:01 on Wednesday 16 December.
Restrictions apply to all boroughs in Greater London. If you are unsure if this includes your area you can check the full list of local restriction tiers by area.
There are tighter restrictions when meeting others:
You must not socialise indoors with anyone you do not live or do not have a support bubble with. This applies both at home and in any indoor public place, including places of worship, pubs and restaurants.
You must also not meet socially in private gardens with anyone that you do not live with or do not have a support bubble with.
You can see friends and family in some public outdoor spaces but must not meet in a group of more than six people including children of any age. Permitted outdoor spaces include:parks,beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
the grounds of a heritage site
outdoor sports courts and facilities
There are some exceptions on the Tier 3 rules for meeting others. For example, meeting your support or childcare bubbles, if you are gathering for work or education, for formal childcare or activities, formal support groups or to provide care for someone vulnerable or respite for a carer. Remember Tier 3 rules don’t apply if you need to escape from injury or harm. Full list of exemptions.
Bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants and social clubs must close except for deliveries and takeaways:
Hospitality venues can offer takeaway, delivery and click and collect services. Those wanting to sell alcohol for consumption elsewhere can do so if it is only through takeaway, delivery service, click and collect or drive through.
Some exemptions exist for hospitals, care homes, schools, and further education colleges. Read the full list of exemptions.
Indoor entertainment venues and attractions must close:
This includes cinemas, theatres, indoor play centres, bowling alleys, indoor skating rinks, casinos and amusement arcades, bingo halls.
Indoor attractions at outdoor entertainment venues such as zoos and adventure playgrounds must close.
Nightclubs remain closed.
Public attendance at spectator sports or indoor performances must end. Large business events should also not be taking place. Elite sport events can continue to take place without spectators.
Other businesses and venues can stay open:
Non-essential retail can remain open. Remember you must wear a face covering in shops unless you have an exemption.
Outdoor tourism and entertainment venues can remain open. Outdoor cinemas, concert venues and theatres can remain open, but they must be drive-through only and must close at 11pm.
Gyms, leisure centres, sports facilities can open but group exercise should not go ahead. Indoor sport is also not allowed, except for some very specific exceptions.
Hairdressers, barbers, and beauty services can remain open.
Read more about restrictions on businesses and venues in Tier 3 areas.
Work from home and reduce journeys if you can:
You should continue working from home if you can.
You can travel to venues or amenities which are open, but you should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible. You should continue to walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead to avoid busy times and routes.
You should avoid travelling into or out of a Tier 3 area.
If you must travel from a Tier 3 area to a Tier 1 or Tier 2 area you must continue to follow the London Tier 3 rules. People should avoid travelling and staying overnight in Tier 3 areas.
Hotels, B&Bs and campsites must close. They can only open for someone to stay in very specific circumstances.
Places of worship and community settings remain open:
Communal worship can continue, but you should not mix with other households in these venues.
Weddings and funerals can take place. 15 people can attend a wedding ceremony and 30 people can attend a funeral service.
Public buildings like libraries and community centres can be fully open, but you still cannot meet socially with other households in these venues. Group events and activities should not take place, but support groups can continue.
NHS services, including GP services and dentist remain open.
Remember to always:
Keep a safe distance from others. Stay two metres apart from people you do not live with as much as possible.
Wherever you cannot keep a safe distance from others wear a face covering. It is mandatory to wear a face covering on public transport and in shops.
Wash your hands frequently and carry hand sanitiser when you are out.
Keep your home well ventilated if you must have people there, such as those doing maintenance. Open windows and doors when you can to allow fresh air to circulate.
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms (high fever, continuous cough, loss of taste or smell) then self-isolate immediately and request a test as soon as you can.
If you are over 60 or clinically vulnerable you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. You should therefore be especially careful to follow the London Tier 3 rules and to minimise your contact with others. If you are clinically extremely vulnerable then the Government is advising you to work from home and to stay at home as much as possible. The Government will write to everyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable with detailed advice.
Read the full government guidance pages.
What you need to know for Christmas
This Christmas is still going to be very different to previous years.
The Government has announced that between Wednesday 23 and Sunday 27 December you can form an exclusive “Christmas bubble”. These can include people from a maximum of three households and they must be exclusive. If you are travelling to Northern Ireland, you may also travel on the 22 and 28 December in addition to the other days.
When deciding how you want to spend Christmas be cautious and plan ahead. Remember that the more people that mix from different households, the more likely it is that you or someone else will catch or spread coronavirus. This puts yourself, your family, friends and communities at risk.
Have the safest possible Christmas by:
Spending it with the people you live with
Seeing your loved ones online instead of in person.
Wait until it is completely safe and see them next year.
If you decided to form a Christmas bubble, especially with vulnerable people or where you would need to travel a long distance, consider isolating for 5 days before travelling home and remember:
The maximum number of households that can meet inside together is three – this is your ‘Christmas bubble’.
Your three household ‘bubble’ must be exclusive. You cannot change it when you have chosen who to meet.
Ventilate your home regularly by opening windows and bring extra layers for warmth.
Go for walks outside instead of spending all your time indoors.
If a member of your Christmas bubble tests positive or develops coronavirus symptoms between 23 and 27 December, or up to 48 hours after the bubble last met, all members of the bubble must self-isolate.
Outside of the dates of 23 – 27 December, or if you decide not to form a Christmas bubble, the Tier 3 restrictions still apply. There are no special allowances for New Year’s Eve and you must continue to follow the rules for Tier 3.
Source: Coronavirus: What you need to know | London City Hall