The government has announced that Luton will be placed under COVID alert level ‘High’ – often referred to as Tier 2 - from Wednesday, 2 December at 12.01am, as national lockdown restrictions come to an end.
Earlier this week Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, confirmed the national restrictions would be replaced by a strengthened tier system, and that areas placed under Tier 2 are those with significant transmission within the community.
There are some alterations to the measures previously put in place in ‘High’ alert level areas.
As well as following the national guidance to wash our hands, keep our distance and wear a face covering if we can, the ‘High’ restrictions mean:
· Socialising: You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place. Rule of 6 applies in outside areas (private gardens or public spaces).
· Businesses: Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs.
· Hospitality: Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals. Provide table service only in premises which sell alcohol and close between 11.00pm (stop taking orders after 10.00pm) and 5.00am.
· Take away: Hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm, as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.
· Entertainment: Early closure (11.00pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11.00pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10.00pm.
· Events: Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.
· Sports: Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.
· Places of worship: Remain open but you must not socialise with people from outside of your household or support bubble while you are indoors there, unless a legal exemption applies.
· Weddings and funerals: Can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes or stonesettings.
· Exercise: Organised outdoor sport and physical activity and exercise classes can continue. Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing
· Travel: You can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible. If you live in a Tier 2 area, you must continue to follow Tier 2 rules when you travel to a Tier 1 area. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in Tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through a Tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey
All restrictions are monitored and evaluated by the government, Public Health England and local councils to ensure they are still necessary and appropriate for the area. A review of each local area tier placement will take place every two weeks.
The Government has also announced plans to allow families and loved ones to spend time together over the Christmas period. Between 23 and 27 December, the three households will be allowed to form a temporary "Christmas bubble". This will be allowed in all areas of the country, regardless of its local alert level.
They can mix indoors and stay overnight. The bubbles will be fixed, so you will not be able to mix with two households on Christmas Day and two different ones on Boxing Day. Full details are available on the HERE.