Coronavirus latest: Bedford will be in 'high' Tier 2 - here's everything you need to know

The new rules will come into effect on December 2

Bedford and Bedfordshire have been placed in Tier 2 in the government's three tier system, and the new rules will come into effect on Wednesday, December 2.

The decision has just been announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

The new rules will come into effect from the beginning of Wednesday, December 2. The current national restriction rules are still in place until December 2, and must be followed until they expire.

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There are 3 tiers for local restrictions, Tier 1: Medium alert; Tier 2: High alert; Tier 3: Very High alert.

Tier 2: High alert. In tier 2:

This means:

- You must not meet indoors with anyone you do not live with or who isn’t in your support bubble.

- Groups of no more than six people can meet outdoors, including in a private garden

- Pubs and bars must remain closed, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals, and must stop taking orders at 10pm and close by 11pm

- 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

- Indoor leisure centres and entertainment venues can open

- Early closure (11pm) 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 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm

- Organised outdoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes can take place

- 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/bubble with

- 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

In addition, shops will be open, personal care services such as hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons will be open, and places of worship will be able to hold communal worship services but people must not socialise with individuals outside their household/support bubble.

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.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “The Government has introduced these new strengthened tiers regionally, with different tiers in place in different parts of the country.

"Bedford Borough has joined Central Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes in going into the Tier Two- High Alert level from Wednesday 2 December.

“Coronavirus is spread through social contact- through us seeing people. That is why we are being asked to not mix indoors with other households that are not part of our support bubble, and to meet outdoors in groups of no more than six.

"Infections in Bedford Borough are still high so in the run-up to Christmas, please be cautious and do everything you can to keep slowing the spread of coronavirus.

“By minimising social contact with those outside of your household, by washing your hands regularly, wearing a face covering if you can, and keeping 2m apart from other people you will be helping to keep yourself, your friends and family, and your community safe.”

The system will be regularly reviewed and an area's tier may change before Christmas - the first review is scheduled for December 16.

You will be able to use the postcode checker to find out the restrictions in your area or an area you plan to visit. The NHS COVID-19 app will be updated on 2 December.

For more details visit: www.gov.uk.