Tier 2: Pubs, business lunches and bubbles in new rules explained


ondon will move into Tier 2 from Wednesday — but what exactly does it mean for daily life?  

Can I meet my friends in the pub? You can but only if it’s a pub that is serving substantial meals and you will have to meet outside because you are from different households, with a maximum of six people. Last orders will still be 10pm but bars and pubs will be able to stay open to 11pm to give you an extra hour of drinking up time.

Can I have my cleaner come round to the house? Yes, government guidelines are that you can have a cleaner working inside your home. You do not have to leave while they are there but obviously must follow social distancing guidelines such as staying two metres apart or, if that is not possible, staying at least one metre apart and wearing face coverings.

I need to have some building work done. Can I have a builder working inside my home? Yes, government guidelines are clear on this. Builders, plumbers and anyone repairing household items are allowed to work in your home though you will both be expected to follow the social distancing guidelines.

Can I have a business lunch with a contact or meet up with colleagues in a café? If you are self-employed or a freelancer without an office or other workplace, and have a meeting that needs to be held face-to-face, the answer is a definite ‘yes’ to meeting a contact for a business lunch. It is less clear for office-based workers. Number 10 did not confirm if office workers are allowed to book business lunches with each other if both have workplaces.  

Under previous Tier 2 restrictions, hospitality venues announced they would take any business lunch booking, not just from freelancers.

While there is no explicit government guidance either way, industry leaders have insisted the working lunch is imperative to keep business going through the crisis.

I’m a single parent, can I form a support bubble with a friend and their family? If you’re in what the Government calls a “single adult household” you can form a support bubble with another household of any size as long as they are not already in a support bubble with anyone else.

Once you’re in that bubble, you can consider yourself as being in a single household with people from the other household and can behave accordingly. But be warned once you have made a support bubble you cannot change who is in it.

Can our tier status change and what would that mean? Yes it can. The tiers will be reviewed every 14 days and London could move to Tier 1 which would see the regulations relaxed. So for example groups of six people could socialise together indoors.

If we are reviewed upwards and move into Tier 3, restrictions will become much tighter and, for example, all pubs, cafés, restaurants and theatres would close.

I’m meant to be moving house next week. Can it still go ahead? Yes it can. You are exempt from all limits regardless of which tier you are moving to or from while you move house.

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I’m in Tier 2 but want to visit a friend in Tier 3. Can I go? The Government cannot stop you from making that journey but strongly advises people not to. At the moment its guidance is to avoid travelling to and staying overnight in Tier 3 areas unless necessary for reasons including work, education or because you have caring responsibilities.

Am I allowed to travel through a Tier 3 area to get to another Tier 2 area? Yes you can, though again stopping overnight in a Tier 3 area is to be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

I really want to get away for Christmas. Can we go on holiday? You can but be prepared to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive back from most destinations. You may also face restrictions when you land in your destination so check before you go.

Will my friend’s wedding still go ahead? It will but they will only be allowed 15 guests and the same number for the reception. If London moves into Tier 3 before the big day then they will still be allowed 15 guests but the reception will not be able to go ahead.

Can we go clubbing to celebrate the end of college this year? No. Despite pubs and other venues including casinos and restaurants being open, nightclubs remain closed by law with hefty punishments if they tried to re-open.


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