The government has launched a new postcode checker for coronavirus restrictions - how to use it
A new three tiered system for local lockdowns in England has been announced by the Prime Minister, placing regions into ‘medium’, ‘high’ and ‘very high’ level alerts.
Different lockdown rules apply depending on the Covid alert level in your area, with the new restrictions introduced in an effort to curb the rising infection rates across the country.
How do I check the rules in my area?
The government has launched an online postcode checker tool, which details which alert level applies in each area of England. To use it, simply visit the website and enter your postcode to find out what you can and cannot do where you live.
Three Bedford people die from Covid in just a week
Woman's shock as partner dies alone weeks after cancer misdiagnosis at Bedford Hospital
Covid cases stay high in Bedford's Castle ward
More emergency cancer patients in Bedfordshire than pre-pandemic
Are you a Bedford patient at The De Parys Group? Well, it's on the move
The NHS Covid-19 app will also direct you to the same information.
The measures that are in place will be kept under constant review and could be subject to change in response to the local infection rates.
What are the rules in each tier?
Regions across England have been divided into different tiers to ensure the right levels of intervention are in place to manage Covid outbreaks. These are the rules that apply across the three tiers:
Tier 1 - Local Covid alert level ‘medium’
National restrictions continue to apply in areas on ‘medium’ alert, including the rule of six and the 10pm curfew.
Household mixing indoors is still permitted, providing the six person limit is not exceeded, and businesses and venues can continue to operate.
Tier 2 - Local Covid alert level ‘high’
The restrictions in areas on ‘high’ alert are similar to those that were previously implemented in areas under local lockdown.
If you live in an area on high alert, you must not:
meet with anybody outside your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place, such as pubs, bars and restaurantsmeet in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or other space
Businesses and venues can continue to operate, and the 10pm curfew for hospitality venues, including pubs and restaurants, still applies.
Tier 3 - Local Covid alert level ‘very high’
The ‘very high’ Covid alert level applies to areas with the highest infection rates and includes the strictest restrictions.
Those in the highest tier, on very high alert (tier 3), are banned from meeting with anybody outside their people must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, but can meet in certain outdoor public spaces in groups of six or less. These include:
parks, beaches, countryside, forestspublic gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them), allotmentsoutdoor sports courts and facilities, and playgrounds
People are also advised to avoid travelling outside of their local area, or entering another ‘very high’ alert area, other than for essential purposes, such as work or education.
Pubs and bars have been instructed to close in these areas, unless they can operate as a restaurant, in a bid to reduce transmission. These areas may also face possible further restrictions on hospitality, leisure, entertainment or personal care sectors, but retail, schools and universities will remain open.
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister site, Yorkshire Evening Post.