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COVID-19 | Alert Level System and Festive Period Rules

18th December 2020

COVID-19 | Alert Level System and Festive Period Rules

On 17th December the government announced a review of the three-tiered system of restrictions that came into force on 2nd December. The regions subject to tier changes will be under the respective restrictions from 00.01 on 19th December. London was placed in Tier 3 from 00.01 on 16th December, prior to the latest review.

 

What are the tiers? | Rosenblatt’s Financial Crime Team

Tier 1: Medium

Herefordshire will move from Tier 2 to Tier 1, joining The Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as the only regions placed in this tier.

The restrictions in this tier include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • People must not socialise in groups larger than 6 people (includes children of all ages), indoors or outdoors, other than where a legal exemption applies.
  • Businesses and venues can remain open, in a COVID secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs.
  • Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to provide table service only, for premises that serve alcohol, close at 11pm and stop taking orders after 10pm.
  • 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.

Tier 2: High

Bristol and North Somerset will move from Tier 3 to Tier 2.

The restrictions in this tier include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • People must not socialise with anyone they do not live with or who is not in their support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
  • People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside (includes children of all ages), including in a garden or a public space.
  • Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs.
  • Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals.
  • Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol, close at 11pm and stop taking orders after 10pm.
  • 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.

Tier 3: Very High

Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, the whole of Hertfordshire, Surrey (except Waverley), Hastings and Rother, Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant will move from Tier 2 to Tier 3, joining areas such as London, Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle.

The restrictions in this tier include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • People must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody they do not live with, or who is not in their support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues.
  • People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 (includes children of all ages) in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility.
  • Hospitality settings, such as bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.

Christmas bubbles

The government also announced that between 23rd – 27th December up to three households are allowed to meet indoors in England to form a ‘bubble’, including staying overnight. Existing support bubbles will count as one household towards the three household limit.

These bubbles are also allowed to meet each other at places of worship or in an outdoor public space or garden. There will be no travel restrictions during this time and changing bubbles will not be allowed.

It is not possible to changes bubbles once they have been formed (eg a household cannot meet with two households on one day and then different households on another day.

Despite the media rhetoric that there will be freedom from the regulations over the Christmas period, outside of the prescribed bubble arrangements the usual tier regulations apply.

Enforcement | Rosenblatt’s Crime Team

The statutory instruments setting out the tiered system contain provisions for enforcing the restrictions through fixed penalty notices or prosecutions.

Rosenblatt can help

Rosenblatt has a wealth of experience in criminal law and is uniquely placed to support client’s crime needs during these unprecedented times, consistently ensuring a familiarity with the ever-changing Government guidance on COVID-19.

Contact us

Should you wish to discuss the services we offer further, please contact Frances Murray from the Financial Crime team at frances.murray@rosenblatt-law.co.uk or +44 (0)20 7955 0880