PM reveals his new plan for the UK post-lockdown and mutes his mic along the way

By Harriet Piercy

Published Nov 24, 2020 at 12:54 PM

Reading time: 4 minutes

The countdown to 2 December, when the lockdown is set to unlock, has begun—not without much unsurprising confusion, however. That being said, there were also some clean-cut facts that came out of the UK’s Prime Minister’s announcement on 23 November. Here is everything we know so far.

What are the new tier rules for after lockdown in England?

Reducing the spread of COVID-19 has remained a priority, obviously, and the tiers (read tears) are back in full swing. This really does make sense, so for those that this piece of information finds surprised, I truly wonder what 2020 has done with your logic. Not to say that my own has not been scrambled in different ways, but to be clear here, each and every one of us living in England will be classed into a tier, which comes with its own set of terms and conditions. So, what are the different tiers and what do they imply?

Blanket rules for all tiers

No negotiations, Rambo! All tiers will have a uniform set of rules in place for each region.

The ‘work from home’ advice remains the same: work from home if you can. As annoying as this still may be for most, don’t lie when you ask yourself if you’ve adjusted to the positives of this yet, alright? Keep perspective on your privilege, this will not last forever unless you want it to.

Schools, colleges and universities remain open.

Registered childcare and other supervised activities for children and childcare bubbles are allowed.

Shops and personal care services can open. Yes, you’ll soon be able to go for a well-deserved haircut or wax. Treat yourself!

Certain indoor and outdoor leisure activities, like public gyms and swimming pools, golf courses, dance studios and playgrounds will open again.

Elite sport and disabled sport can continue.

You are advised to walk or cycle where possible, plan ahead, avoid busy times when travelling. Capiche?

The popolice will gain new powers to close down premises breaking the rules. Be wise, my friends.

Rules for regions in Tier one, medium alert

Households can mix inside and outside, but only as a group of six or less.

Bars, pubs and restaurants will be table service only, last orders by 10 p.m., and you’ll be kicked out at 11 p.m.

Entertainment can reopen, until 11 p.m. Casinos, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums, bowling alleys, funfairs, theme parks, bingo… you get the gist. No dirty dancing with strangers is obviously still a rule regardless. There is still a 50 per cent capacity for events like live performances and shows.

Avoid travel into tier three areas. Duh.

Overnight stays are permitted with your household (one would hope this went without saying, but this was officially stated anyway), overnight stays are also permitted within your bubble as well as with up to six people from different households. Is this the return of the PJ party? C’mon, we were all thinking about it.

All public accommodations can reopen.

Places of worship can reopen but more than six people from different households cannot interact.

Weddings, civil partnerships and wakes can take place with up to 15 guests. Funerals can have up to 30 guests.

Exercise classes and organised adult sport can take place outdoors, albeit obeying the rule of six.

Social distancing always applies.

Rules for regions in Tier two, high alert

There will be no socialising in groups larger than six people indoors or outdoors.

Pubs and bars must close unless they serve food, and hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals. I’ll say that twice: substantial meals, not snacks.

Last orders at 10 p.m., closed by 11 p.m.

The numbers of journeys available will be reduced, don’t travel into a tier three area unless you absolutely have to.

Overnight stays are still permitted but only with your household (…) or support bubble.

Accommodation remains open.

Places of worship will also remain open, but there will be no interaction permitted with anyone outside of a household or support bubble.

Weddings, civil partnerships and wakes can take place with up to 15 guests. Funerals can have up to 30 guests.

Exercise classes and organised adult sport can take place outdoors, but not indoors if there is a chance you’ll interact with different households.

Rules for regions in Tier two, which is low key a lockdown

No meeting socially indoors or outdoors with anybody who is not in your support bubble, or who you don’t live with. You must not socialise in a group of more than six people.

Hospitality, even if those that serve food, will be closed. However, takeaways, click and collect, drive through services or delivery will still be permitted.

Public accommodation places will close, but there are exemptions. Those who use these accommodation services as their main residence or requiring the venues for work and education or training will be allowed to stay.

Entertainment will be closed. No cinemas, live music events, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skirting rinks or play areas. Entertainment venues that are mostly outdoor, like zoos, safari parks, aquariums, fun fairs, landmarks, visitor attraction farms, museums, galleries, sculpture parks and model villages will also be shut. Botanical gardens and greenhouses are also included and the list goes on.

Group exercise and indoor sports should not take place, unless with your household or support bubble.

What tier are you in?

Unfortunately, no one will officially know this until this Thursday 26 November, when the tiers will be allocated. New cases data that will be released this week will dictate which tier areas will go into.

What do the tiers mean for travel?

Travellers will soon be able to shorten their quarantine time to five days if they test negative on the fifth day of their quarantine, but they’ll have to pay for the test, which will cost between £65 and £120.


We are not out of the pits yet, and the repercussions are bound to be drawn out for a while. Keep in check with your mental health, love yourself, you’ve got this, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Think statistically and keep perspective.

Also, expect bumps in the road. This information was released live yesterday afternoon, and even with all the preparation that the UK could offer, the PM still experienced a technical glitch. Just as you were about to mute the chap, he beat you to it and muted himself. What was first awkward was down right hilarious in hindsight, probably even for the man himself. Find something to laugh about today, life doesn’t have to be any worse than it is for goodness sake. On a really positive note, vaccines are officially on the horizon!

COVID-19 vaccines

The highly anticipated COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford UK, has reported some positive results as of recently. Pfizer and BioNTech reported that their vaccine was also effective, and an interim analysis of Moderna’s RNA vaccine showed it worked roughly as well. Yay, science.

Age is by far COVID-19’s biggest risk factor, so when these vaccines do become available for the general public, older care home residents and staff top the UK’s preliminary priority list, followed by health workers like hospital staff and then the over 80 year olds.

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