New Tier 1 lockdown restrictions in full – what you can and can't do

A new review of the coronavirus restrictions on December 30 has meant that most regions in England will be placed in the toughest tiers.

Only one region remains in Tier 1, the lightest restrictions – The Isles of Scilly – with no regions left in Tier 2.

Everywhere in England is classed as either medium (Tier 1), high (Tier 2), very high risk (Tier 3) or Tier 4 (stay at home) areas, with the rules become more severe the higher up the system.

The tiers given to each location will be reviewed every 14 days, with the rules in place until the end of March.

The next review will take place on January 13.

There’s a full list of rules for all areas, but these are the new rules that apply in Tier 1 locations.

New Tier 1 rules

Shops and retail

All non-essential retail, including hairdressers and beauty salons can reopen once national lockdown has finished.

Cinemas, bingo, bowling, soft play and other similar indoor entertainment businesses can also reopen.

Pubs and restaurants

People drinking outside a bar in Soho, London
Pubs and restaurants can reopen in Tier 1 areas on December 2

It will be table service only in pubs and restaurants in Tier 1 areas.

The 10pm curfew has also been tweaked. 10pm will now be the call for last orders with venues having to close their doors at 11pm.

This should allow people to stagger their leaving times, as opposed to all heading out at the same time.

Meeting friends and family

All gatherings in Tier 1 – whether indoors or outdoors – will again be governed by the ‘rule of six’, meaning up to six people from a maximum of six households can gather. As before, children and babies count towards that six, and the rules on wearing masks and maintaining social distancing will also apply.

Sex with people you don’t live with is still now allowed in the guidance – unless you’re in an “established relationship”, though it’s not illegal.

Leisure and exercise

Leisure facilities including gyms and swimming pools can remain open in Tier 1.

Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place, provided rule of six is observed.

Gym worker disinfects barbells
Gyms in Tier 1 can reopen again

Support bubbles

If one household contains a single adult, they can form a support bubble with another household, while a ‘childcare bubble’ can be formed if one household has a child under 13.

A new exemption allows a multi-adult household to form a support bubble no matter what if they have a child under one or child under five who needs care. Then, you can behave as one household.

Sport crowds

Sporting venues can soon hum to the sound of crowds again.

Outdoors there can be a maximum crowd of 50% occupancy or 4,000 spectators, whichever is smaller.

Indoors, that falls to 50% occupancy or 1,000 spectators, whichever is smaller.


The same rules apply to theatres as they do for crowds at indoor sporting venues; 1,000 spectators or 50% occupancy, whichever is smaller

Working from home

This will continue to be encouraged.

Holiday and travel

Holidays from Tier 1 locations will be allowed again, though people are still asked to avoid travelling if possible.

Weddings and funerals

Mourners at a funeral
Funerals in Tier 1 can have 30 mourners, but only 15 can attend a wake

Weddings and receptions will be allowed once again, with 15 guests able to attend both.

Funerals can have 30 mourners, but only 15 can attend a wake.


Services can again be held as long as sub-groups within the venue are consistent with the tier you’re in.

Driving lessons and tests

These can resume once national lockdown ends on December 2.

Tier 1 locations

Tier 1 rules poster
Tier 1 rules

One one place will have Tier 1 rules in place as of New Year’s Eve 2020.

South West

Isles of Scilly


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