Home politics What you can do with the kids this half-term if you live in Tiers 3, 2 or 1

What you can do with the kids this half-term if you live in Tiers 3, 2 or 1

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What you can do with the kids this half-term if you live in Tiers 3, 2 or 1


So you’ve got the darling little ones at home for a week.

And while they’d be delighted to spend the whole time glued to a screen, you’ve got that nagging feeling that you should get them to do something outdoors (or at least out of the house).

Half-term can be a pretty tough time to keep children occupied at the best of times. So with the confusing lockdown rules dividing England, what can you even do?

From the toughest restrictions in tier three to the less stringent rules in tier one, we’ve tried to explain the rules on what you can do in the various tiers based on some popular activities below.

A quick note, throughout this article when we say a single household we mean your single household, plus any support bubble.

And whenever you’re indoors in most public venues you’ll probably have to wear a mask.

If you don’t know which tier you are in, you can use our widget to find out:

Great, now you know, it’s on to the details.

Tier 3

These are the rules for Tier 3 areas – including Liverpool and Manchester

Going to see grandma/loved ones

This is a tough one. Indoor gatherings between different households are banned – and so are gatherings in private gardens or beer gardens.

You can however see an adult loved one if they are part of your support bubble.

As the government define, it a support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size.

That means you can go see grandma – but only if she lives alone and only one of two grandparents are eligible.

But it’s not all bad news because you can still meet family in an outdoor open public space, like a park, beach, forest or open country. You have to be socially distanced and the rule of six applies.

Remember, children count towards the total number of people in the maximum group size of six outdoors.

Going to a friend’s house

People living in an area that goes into Tier 3 cannot mix inside at all, or in any outdoor area attached to a private home, hospitality or ticketed venue.

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The same goes for meeting in private domestic settings.

That means you cannot go to a friend’s house for a playdate unless that friend is in your bubble.

There is no chance of a playdate in Tier 3, unless you stay distanced in the park

Going to the park?

Yes, you can still go to the park with your children and they can even play with their friends if it is outside.

But you need to remember that the Rule of Six still applies and you need to count children as part of that number.

So big games of football are a no – but a chilly or soggy picnic with friends could be on the cards.

The Cinema

You can get a couple of minutes of peace and quiet by taking your darling little ones to the cinema!

But you can only go with members of your own household (or support bubble).

And it is a tough time for many cinemas – the Cineworld chain has closed all its cinemas as a result of the pandemic and other big cinema chains are operating reduced hours. So double-check opening times.

The zoo

You can go to the zoo and other attractions but only with your own household.

Soft play

This one is the most confusing and depends on where you live as the rules are different in different tier 3 areas.

In South Yorkshire, Manchester, and Lancashire soft play centres join betting shops, casinos, arcades and adult gaming centres in being closed.

But in Liverpool, soft play areas can remain open.

All the areas that are either in Tier 3 in England or national restrictions elsewhere (red), or facing possible Tier 3 restrictions (amber)

Museums

Museums are allowed to remain open during Tier 3 restrictions although tougher restrictions do apply – including that you can’t visit with anyone outside of your own household or support bubble.

Also, some museums, particularly those run by local authorities, may have made different decisions – so check online to make sure somewhere is open before making a wasted trip.

Many museums and galleries in areas affected by England’s new Covid restrictions have vowed to remain open for the time being in order to provide an outlet for local people.

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Liverpool became the first city to enter a Tier 3 lockdown this week, with pubs, gyms and close contact services forced to close. But a spokeswoman for National Museums Liverpool said the institution is not currently planning to shut its sites – although she said the situation could change quickly depending on government advice.

Go out for lunch

You can out for lunch in either a cafe, restaurant or a pub that serves ‘substantial meals’ but the same limitations as apply as to any other indoor venues – you can only go with people from your own household.

Tier 2

Tier 2 rules still ban meeting indoors – but gardens are okay

Going to see grandma/loved ones

This is broadly the same as in Tier 3 because the restrictions on visiting people in their homes are the same.

That means you can go see grandma – but only subject to the restriction that she is in your family’s support bubble.

And again, it’s not all bad news because you can still meet family outdoors – as long as you are socially distanced and the rule of six applies.

And children count towards the total number of people in the group in England.

You may find yourself stuck in the house with your kids this half term

Going to a friend’s house

People living in an area that goes into Tier 2 cannot mix inside at all, including private homes or any kind of hospitality or ticketed venue. The same goes for meeting in private domestic settings.

That means you cannot go to a friend’s house for a playdate unless that friend is in your bubble.

But you can see people in their garden or in your garden if you are lucky enough to have one. You can also meet friends in a beer garden, up to the rule of six, as long as children are allowed in the venue. But children count towards the six-person limit.

Going to the park?

Yes, you can still go to the park with your children and they can even play with their friends if it is outside.

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But you need to remember that the rule of six still applies and you need to count children as part of that number.

And even in the park people including kids should obey social distancing, which makes most games pretty tricky.

The Cinema

You can go to the cinema, but only with members of your own household, just like in Tier 3. Our advice for checking opening hours also still applies.

Cineworld has closed many of its screens

The zoo

You can go to the zoo, but you must be in a single household group.

Soft play

Unlike in Tier 3 where the picture is pretty confusing, in Tier 2 soft play remains open. You can only go as one household and the rule of six applies.

Museums

Museums are open, but your group must be from a single household and the rule of six applies.

Go out for lunch

You can out for lunch in either a cafe, restaurant or a pub (which unlike in Tier 3, don’t have to only serve a substantial meal if you need an extra something to get through the week).

But if you are sitting indoors, you can only go with your own household or support bubble.

Tier 1

The lowest threat level is ‘medium’ under the three-tier system

Going to see grandma/loved ones

In the lowest level of restrictions in England, you can still visit grandma at home or have her over to your house.

But wherever two or more households meet, the rule of six applies, so make sure you keep an eye on the numbers and socially distance where possible.

The rule of six includes children.

Going to a friend’s house

If you are in a Tier 1 area you can visit people at home but should only be in a group of six and stay socially distanced.

Going to the park?

Yes, you can still go to the park with your children and they can even play with their friends if it is outside.

But even in tier one the rule of six still applies and you need to count children as part of that number.

And social distancing applies which makes games difficult.

The latest update on which areas of England are under which tier

The Cinema

You can go to the cinema with more than one household – but must socially distance and observe the rule of six.

The zoo

You can go to the zoo with more than one household – but must socially distance and observe the rule of six.

Soft play

In Tier 1, soft play remains open.

Museums

Museums are open and you can go in multi-household groups – but it must be less than six.

Go out for lunch

Yes – again it must be a group of six people or fewer, but no restrictions on mixing households.





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