Am I allowed to see mates who live in other tiers once lockdown ends?

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On 2nd December we are due to come out of a nationwide lockdown, which will then see different local areas put into one of three tiers based on how severe the Covid threat is. However, although the current announcements are clear on a range of topics from how many people can meet to where they can do so, there seems to be one question on everyone’s mind – am I allowed to see mates who live in other tiers once lockdown ends?

So, although it has been announced that we could see relative normality by Easter, are we able to travel to other tiers to see our friends? Are we able to meet indoors or does it have to be outdoors? And can we go into their houses?

Can I see mates from tier two if I live in tier one?

The official line is that people in tier one can meet people from other tier one households, both indoors and outdoors. Although it can only be a group of six, this is the most relaxed of the three tiers. They are also allowed to stay overnight elsewhere, and travel restrictions are not in place for public transport.

Luckily, if you live in a low-risk Covid area (tier one) and want to see your mates in tier two this is absolutely no problem, provided that you observe the tier two rules.

Once in tier two, you can’t stay overnight or even go inside their house unless you share a household or support bubble, and you must stick with groups no bigger than six, as in tier one. Therefore, a visit from tier one to see your tier two mates would likely only be good for a walk or visit to a public place before parting ways. The same applies when travelling from tier two to one.

tiers once lockdown ends

People in tier three are advised not to travel to tiers one and two

Can I travel to a tier three area if I live in tier one or two?

The government is currently advising people against travelling to tier three areas. On their website, they say that people “should avoid travelling to any part of the country subject to very high local Covid alert levels”, as well as “avoid staying overnight in a very high alert level area if you are resident elsewhere.”

“You must not stay with anyone you do not live with from a very high alert level area or visit their home”, the advise continues. This applies also when travelling from tier three to tier one or two.

Can I ignore the advice altogether?

These guidelines are not legal requirements, meaning that if you did want to (ill-advisedly) travel between tiers then you wouldn’t be punished currently. Exceptions to the advice include entering tier three “for things like work, education or youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if you are travelling through as part of a longer journey”.

So basically, although you won’t get punished, if you do plan to ignore the advice you may want to think of a good excuse.

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