The government have made rules to help stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading in England.

Local COVID alert levels

Local COVID alert levels have been introduced in England to stop coronavirus spreading quickly, especially in places where there are a lot of cases.

The 3 alert levels are medium, high and very high. The more cases there are in your area, the higher the alert level will be.

You can find out the alert level in your area by using this postcode checker on the GOV.uk website.

Each level has a different set of rules.

We have explained what the rules are for each level below. We've also made easy read guides for each level.

Click each heading below to see more information.

Medium (Tier 1)

If you are in an area where the alert level is medium you should:

  • follow social distancing rules; this means trying to stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from people, except people from your household or support bubble
  • only meet up with people in groups of 6 people or less (if you have a carer or support worker with you they are not counted). This is called following the rule of 6
  • work from home if you can
  • plan carefully when travelling away from your area. This is so you can try to travel at times when it is not too busy and not many other people are around. If you can, you could try to walk or cycle
  • wear a face covering (if you are able to) in shops, restaurants, pubs, bars and on public transport.

Places that will be open when the alert level is medium are: 

  • businesses like pubs, shops and restaurants as long as they follow rules to keep customers and their staff safe from coronavirus. Restaurants, pubs and bars must close between 10pm and 5am 
  • schools and universities 
  • sports clubs, support groups and gyms
  • places of worship (as long as they follow the rule of 6). Weddings and funerals can happen but with fewer guests. 
See easy read guide to these rules

High (Tier 2)

If you are in an area where the alert level is high you should:

  • follow social distancing rules; this means trying to stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from people, except people from your household or support bubble
  • only spend time with people that you live with when you are indoors (e.g. in a house, pub or restaurant) 
  • only meet up with people in groups of 6 people or less outside (if you have a carer or support worker with you they are not counted). This is called following the rule of 6
  • work from home if you can
  • plan carefully when travelling away from your area. This is so you can try to travel at times when it is not too busy and not many other people are around. If you can, you could try to walk or cycle
  • wear a face covering (if you are able to) in shops, restaurants, pubs, bars and on public transport.

Places that will be open when the alert level is high are: 

  • businesses like pubs, shops and restaurants as long as they follow rules to keep customers and their staff safe from coronavirus. Restaurants, pubs and bars must close between 10pm and 5am 
  • schools and universities 
  • sports clubs, support groups and gyms
  • places of worship (as long as they follow the rule of 6). Weddings and funerals can happen but with fewer guests. 
See easy read guide to these rules

Very high (Tier 3)

If you are in an area where the alert level is very high you should:

  • follow social distancing rules; this means trying to stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from people, except people from your household or support bubble
  • only spend time with people that you live with (e.g. in a house, pub or restaurant) 
  • only meet up with people in groups of 6 people or less outside (if you have a carer or support worker with you they are not counted). This is called following the rule of 6
  • work from home if you can
  • try to stay in your area (you can travel for work, education, youth services or because of caring responsibilities)
  • wear a face covering (if you are able to) in shops, restaurants and on public transport.

Places that will be open when the alert level is very high are: 

  • businesses like shops, supermarkets, restaurants and takeaways as they follow rules to keep customers and their staff safe from coronavirus (pubs and bars must close, alcohol can only be served with food) 
  • schools and universities 
  • sports clubs, support groups and gyms
  • places of worship (as long as they follow the rule of 6). Weddings and funerals can happen but with fewer guests. 
See easy read guide to these rules

 

Wales and Northern Ireland

The information on this page applies to England. There is separate guidance in place for Wales and Northern Ireland.

Find out more

See official guidance from the government (in England, Northern Ireland and Wales) to find out more about the restrictions around coronavirus (COVID-19).

Talk to us

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