Greater London, South and West Essex and South Hertfordshire are to move into Tier 3, England’s toughest tier of Coronavirus restrictions, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.
The new restrictions are to come into effect from 00:01 on Wednesday and come after ‘alarming’ Coronavirus case numbers in the capital and surrounding areas.
London has not been in Tier 3 of the system before, however, much of Northern England has now had the toughest set of restrictions for several months.
The move into Tier 3 had been expected by many, following outbreaks of the virus. Notably, the new restrictions mean that hospitality will have to close, except for sales by takeaway, drive-through and delivery.
Ahead of the news on Monday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged the government to ask all secondary schools and colleges in the capital to shut early ahead of Christmas, due to high cases of the virus.
A review of the tier allocations for the rest of the country is expected to take place on Wednesday.
What restrictions are there in Tier 3?
In Tier 3, the following measures will apply;
- No mixing of households indoors apart from support bubbles – maximum of six can meet outside in some public spaces such as parks and public gardens
- Everyone who can work from home should do so whenever possible
- Hospitality must be closed, except for sales by takeaway, drive-through or delivery
- Overnight stays are only permitted with household and support bubble
- 15 guests can attend weddings, civil partnerships and wakes – 30 can attend for funerals – wedding receptions are not permitted
- Places of worship will be open but interaction with people from different households will be banned
- Organised sport can continue outdoors but cannot take place indoors if there is any interaction with people from different households (except for people under 18 and those who are disabled)
- People are advised to avoid travelling outside their area, except for essential reasons such as for work or education
- Only drive-in events will be permitted
- Education, retail and personal care venues will remain open – indoor leisure will be open but without group activities – indoor entertainment venues will be closed and most accommodation will be closed