As lockdown lifts, here's what you can and cannot do under the latest Covid Tier restrictions

Non-essential shops are set to reopen on Wednesday. Credit: PA

As England enters its final day of lockdown on Tuesday, non-essential shops and pubs are preparing to reopen.

But a raft of new measures to limit the spread of coronavirus will come in on Wednesday.

Here's what you need to know:

Stricter Tier restrictions will come into force in England on December 3. Credit: PA
  • What does the law say?

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020 were published on Monday and come into effect on Wednesday.

A vote on the new tier system is due to take place in Parliament on Tuesday but, despite some rebellion from Tory backbenchers, the law is likely to go through.

It will mean most of England is under tough Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions.

Much of the Midlands, North East and North West will be in the most restrictive Tier 3 while the majority of England will be in Tier 2 - including London and Liverpool.

Only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will be placed in the lowest Tier 1 set of restrictions.

  • How long will the restrictions be in place?

The regulations could be in force until the end of February 2 next year when the law expires if the Government does not scrap or amend them in the meantime.

  • Can my friends and family come to my house?

For most of us, no.

There will be a ban on households mixing indoors for 99% of people in England - a population of 55 million.

For the remaining 1% who will be under the lightest Tier 1 coronavirus restrictions, up to six people can meet indoors or outdoors.

Up to six people can meet in a park or public space. Credit: PA
  • Can I meet my friends and family in a park?

Yes, the "one plus one" rule on outdoor meetings under lockdown will be lifted.

People in Tier 2 can meet up to six people in any outdoor space but not indoors. People in Tier 3 can only meet in public spaces or parks.

(PA Graphics) Credit: PA Graphics
  • Will all shops and businesses open?

Unlike the previous measures, non-essential shops in all tiers - including retail, hairdressers and gyms - can open.

However, in Tier 3, leisure facilities including cinemas, theatres, bowling alleys and casinos will remain closed.

Pubs will be open to customers in most of England. Credit: PA
  • What about the pubs?

In Tier 3, pubs and restaurants will be limited to takeaway or delivery services only.

In Tier 2, pubs will be open until a curfew of 11pm with last orders at 10pm. Alcohol can only be served with a substantial meal.

And people in Tier 2 meeting friends and family outside of their household, will have to sit outside.

  • Can I travel?

People in Tier 3 will be advised to avoid travelling outside their area. The government guidance says: "Avoid travelling out of the area, other than where necessary such as for work, education, youth services, medical attention or because of caring responsibilities."

Those in other Tiers are advised not to travel to Tier 3 areas but can travel anywhere else in the country. And international holidays are now permitted.

Christmas shops and fairs will be open from Wednesday. Credit: PA
  • What can I do to celebrate Christmas?

The government has said some Covid-19 restrictions will be relaxed for five days, from December 23 to 27.

Three household bubbles will be able to spend time together in private homes, to attend places of worship, or meet in a public outdoor place.

But there are exceptions for children whose parents live separately.

Students will be allowed to travel home for Christmas from Thursday and to return to schools and universities after the festive break before February 8.

As for Santa, the prime minister said he will be delivering presents to people's homes and grottos can open. However, children will be barred from sitting on his knee under coronavirus rules.

Up to 2,000 spectators will be permitted to attend sports events in parts of England. Credit: PA
  • Sporting events

Up to 2,000 spectators will be able to attend sports events in certain parts of England from Wednesday.

In the Premier League, it’s a 50-50 split, with those in London and the south coast, plus Everton and Liverpool, able to welcome in spectators when the lockdown ends.

The EFL said on Thursday that 34 of its 72 clubs were in tier two. Seven of the 12 teams in the Women’s Super League can welcome supporters in, while it’s the same split in rugby union’s Gallagher Premiership.

  • What happens if I break the rules?

Anyone who breaks the rules faces fines of up to £6,400 or could be taken to court, while corporate bodies and their bosses could face prosecution for organising illegal gatherings and have to pay up to £10,000.

What can you do in each tier from December 2? The new rules in England at a glance:

  • Tier 1: Up to six people can meet indoors or outdoors. Pubs and restaurants can open, with last orders at 10pm and closing at 11pm.

  • Tier 2: No mixing indoors, apart from support bubbles. Up to six people can meet outdoors. Pubs and restaurants can open, with last orders at 10pm and closing at 11pm - but alcohol can only be served with a substantial meal.

  • Tier 3: No mixing indoors. People can only meet outdoors in limited places such as parks and public gardens. Pubs and restaurants must close, with the exception of takeaway sales.

In all tiers, non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers and personal care services can open. People in all tiers to work from home where they can do so. Full details on what you can do in each tier here.