Can you travel from tier 2 to other tiers?

Everything you need to know once lockdown lifts

Helen Coffey
Friday 18 December 2020 11:05
What you need to know about new coronavirus tier restrictions

On 2 December, England’s national lockdown finally lifted and the country reverted to the previous three-tier system.

Regions have been allocated a tier depending on the prevalence of coronavirus and are given rules accordingly.

Most areas have been designated as Tier 2 for now, with plans to review the alert levels every couple of weeks.

But what are the rules for travelling from this tier, and what holiday facilities are allowed to open? Here’s everything you need to know.

Can I travel to another Tier 2 area?

Yes, travelling to a region with the same alert level is permitted. This is true even if you have to pass through a Tier 3 region to get there. The government guidelines state: “You can travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey.”

Read more: Can you travel into and out of a tier 3 area? New lockdown rules explained

Can I travel into Tier 1?

Yes. At the moment, only three areas are in the lowest tier, Tier 1: the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. People from Tier 2 can travel there, but must remember that they have to continue following Tier 2 rules. This means you cannot socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.

Can I travel into Tier 3?

Technically, you shouldn’t – not unless you’re passing through as part of a longer journey or if it’s for an “essential” reason. The government advice says: “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.”

Read more: Can you still travel abroad in tier 3? Holiday lockdown rules explained

Can I travel abroad?

Yes, you can travel abroad from 2 December.

The government says: “The stay at home requirement will end, with domestic and international travel being permitted again subject to guidance in each tier.”

If you live in tier 1 or 2 you will be able to travel through a tier 3 area in order to reach your final destination – eg Manchester airport, which is in tier 3.

New Covid restrictions announced: Who is in what tier and what does it mean?

Your destination country may well have its own rules and restrictions – such as Spain’s requirement for a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.

On return, the standard UK rules on quarantine will apply. These are expected to be eased for arrivals from 15 December, with a negative coronavirus test five days after arrival enabling travellers to end self-isolation.

Are hotels, restaurants and bars open in tier 2?

Hotels are permitted to open in tier 2, provided they operate in a “Covid-Secure” manner. This involves implementing advanced cleaning measures and ensuring social distancing is possible for guests. You can stay overnight in private accommodation or hotels, provided it’s only with people from your household or support bubble.

Read more: Which tier am I in? How to check the Covid alert level in your area

Restaurants are also allowed to open, providing they only offer table service for diners. They must also do last orders by 10pm and close by 11pm. Bars and pubs must remain shut unless operating as restaurants. They may only reopen if they serve alcohol alongside “substantial” meals. Food and drink can continue to be sold after 10pm, but only through a delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.

In tier 2, the rules stipulate that you can meet in groups of no more than six people, and that you may only meet those outside your household or support bubble outdoors.  

Nightclubs remain closed by law.

Are tourist attractions open in Tier 2?

Yes, tourist attractions are also allowed to reopen, provided they are “Covid-Secure”. An early closure time of 11pm apply to venues including cinemas, theatres, museums, theme parks and adventure parks.

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