What each coronavirus tier could mean for Suffolk and Essex

Matt Hancock will announce which tier Suffolk and Essex are in later today. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Matt Hancock will announce which tier Suffolk and Essex are in later today. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Charlotte Bond

People in Suffolk and Essex will today learn what tier the counties will be placed in when the national lockdown comes to an end.

People in Suffolk and Essex will find out today what tier they will be in when we come out of lockdown next week.

People in Suffolk and Essex will find out today what tier they will be in when we come out of lockdown next week. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is due to make a statement in the House of Commons at 11.30am this morning, where he will outline the new tier system which will be introduced next week.

The lockdown will end as planned on Wednesday, December 2, with a new tier system which is set to be more strict than the previous restrictions.

Suffolk was placed into Tier 1 before England entered a national lockdown on November 5, while Essex was under Tier 2 after council leaders asked the government to enforce stricter measures following a rise in cases.

It is now expected that most of the country will be in the top two tiers of the new system, meaning households will not be able to mix indoors.


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The allocation of tiers will be dependent on an area’s coronavirus infection rate, case numbers and pressures on local NHS services.

It is expected that the country will be divided into regions, not counties, however this has yet to be confirmed.

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Leaders have called for Suffolk and Essex to be placed under the lowest form of restrictions.

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, believes the county’s “very rapid action” at containing Covid-19 outbreaks and its low infection rate means it should not face harsh restrictions.

Sir Bernard Jenkin, MP for Harwich and North Essex, added: “I will be arguing for tier one, supported by vigorous ‘backwards tracing’ of super-spreaders by local councils.”

MORE: Calls for Suffolk and Essex to remain in Tier 1 post-lockdownHere is what will and will not be allowed under each of the tiers.

Tier 1

• You will be allowed to meet a maximum of six friends or family outdoors or indoors.

• The ‘stay home’ message will be lifted, although people are encouraged to continue to minimise movements and to work from home where possible.

• Bars, pubs and restaurants will operate table service only, and must stop taking orders at 10pm, before closing at 11pm.

• Retail and personal care - such as hairdressers and beauty salons - can reopen, and indoor entertainment venues - such as cinemas, theatres, bowling alleys and casinos - will be allowed to stay open.

• Overnight stays will be permitted if they are limited to a support bubble, household or up to six people.

• Classes and organised sport can take place outdoors, but must follow the rule of six indoors.

• Large events including sport and live performances will be open to the public but limited to 50% capacity or 4,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors.

• Places of worship can reopen, but people must not interact with more than six people.

• 15 people will be allowed at weddings and civil partnerships, increasing to 30 for funerals.

Tier 2

• No mixing of households indoors aside from support bubbles will be allowed. The ‘rule of six’ will be permitted outdoors.

• People will be encouraged to reduce the number of journeys they make and to avoid travelling into Tier 3 areas, except for reasons of education or work.

• Pubs and bars will remain closed unless operating as restaurants, with alcohol only served as part of a “substantial meal” until 10pm, before venues must close at 11pm.

• All retail, leisure and personal care services – including hairdressers and beauty salons – are able to reopen.

• Overnight stays will only be permitted for those in the same household or support bubble.

• Classes and organised sport can take place outdoors and indoors – but will only be permitted indoors where it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with).

• Large events including sport and live performances will be open but limited to 50% capacity or 2,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors.

• Places of worship can reopen, but people must not interact with anyone outside their household or support bubble.

• 15 guests will be allowed at weddings and civil partnerships, increasing to 30 for funerals.

Tier 3

• The ‘rule of six’ will apply in outdoor public spaces, such as parks and sports courts - but not in private gardens.

• People will be told to avoid travelling out of the area other than where necessary and to reduce the number of journeys.

• All hospitality venues, such as bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants will be closed except for takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.

• Indoor entertainment venues - such as cinemas, theatres, bowling alleys and casinos - will remain closed.

• No overnight stays will be permitted outside the local area, except for work or education, with accommodation to remain closed.

• Classes and organised adult sport can take place outdoors, but people are advised to avoid higher-risk contact activity.

• Elite and live sport will still be banned but drive-in events will be allowed to continue.

• Places of worship can reopen, but people must not interact with anyone outside their household or support bubble.

• Weddings and civil partnerships can resume but with only 15 guests, increasing to 30 for funerals. Wedding receptions are banned in Tier 3.

In all three tiers you must wear a face covering in most indoor public settings, unless you are exempt.

You should follow the rules on meeting others safely, and continue to attend school or college as normal, unless self-isolating. Schools, universities, colleges and early years settings remain open in all tiers.

You should walk or cycle where possible, plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes when travelling on public transport.

What about support bubbles?

Support bubbles will be expanded from Wednesday, December 2.

From then you will be allowed to form a support bubble with another household if you are the only adult in your household, or are the only adult who does not have a disability that needs continuous care, you have a child under the age of one or you live with a child under five years old with a disability that needs continuous care.

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