From today, London’s in tier 2 of the regionalised covid-19 restrictions following the end of lockdown.
So what are the new rules now that London’s in Tier 2?
Meeting up with friends and family
With London in Tier 2 up to six people can meet up outdoors. However, different households cannot mix indoors (unless you have formed a support bubble), hence the rise in sales of outdoor heaters. Overnight stays with people outside your household or bubble, therefore, are still not allowed.
Eating and drinking at pubs and restaurants
London pubs and restaurants can once again welcome customers, with restrictions.
To follow Tier 2 rules, pubs and restaurants must only serve alcohol if part of a “substantial meal” although what consitutues “substantial” has not yet been defined.
As with before lockdown, it’ll be table service only, but there has been a change to cloing time: instead of the 10pm curfew, it will be 10pm for last orders and everybody out by 11pm. As with lockdown, takeaway will still be available.
Nightclubs, casinos and bowling alleys remain closed. Pubs that do not serve food will also stay shut. The rule of six applies for dining (and drinking) outside, there is no household mixing allowed indoors.
Shopping: how and where
Non-essential retail, so the bulk of the high street, malls and retail parks, will reopen today. This is regardless of Tier restrictions, so Londoners can do their Christmas shopping in person (mask and social distincing measures do apply).
Where to work
Boris Johnson this week said under all tier retriction levels “people who can work from home, should continue to do so”. However it’s expected that as Londoners get out and socialise and shop more under the Tier 2 restrictions, many more will travel into the office as well.
Business meetings, including work lunches, are allowed in Tier 2, up to 30 members of staff, so long as social distancing is maintained.
The Government also urged Londoner to walk or cycle into work if you can, and travel outside of peak times if using public transport.
Sports and live entertainment
London’s Premier League clubs will be allowed to have up to 2,000 people attend matches, under capacity restrictions for live entertainment in Tier 2.
Theatres will also be able to welcome guests back outdoors at 50 per cent capacity or 2,000 people. Indoor performances (that would be most of them in winter) will have attendance capped at 1,000.
Theatres can stay open beyond 11pm, so long as their performances began before 10pm.
Leaving your tier area is only restricted in tier 3. London being placed in Tier 2 means capital city dwellers are free to travel out of the city and the country, but hould avoid travelling to a tier 3 area.
It means Londoners can begin to travel out of the area ahead of Christmas, reducing the risk of commuter bottlenecks spreading the infection.
It also means we may be some of the first to use Grant Shapps’ new airport testing scheme for holiday makers and business travellers returning from abroad. London hotels and accommodation can welcome a wider range of guests under Tier 2 restrictions.
Gyms, barbers and beauty salons
As with non-essential retail, the Prime Minister said in November that Brits will still be able to head to the gym, book a haircut and get their nails done, no matter which tier restrictions their region must abide by.
You must wear a face mask to your appointment, unless already exempt.
Schools, nurseries, colleges and universities remain open for study in tier 2, as they were in the nationwide lockdown.
Weddings and funerals
As per pre-lockdown, funerals will be capped at 30 people attending. Wedding celebrations will also be a muted affair, with a maximum limit of 15 attendees.