EXPLAINED: Lancs in ‘Tier Two’ of lockdown restrictions
We were already in a local lockdown, so what’s changed now?
The government has unveiled its three-tiered coronavirus lockdown system in an attempt to restrict the spread of the virus, in the wake of confirmed cases soaring above the cases we saw in March – before the national lockdown.
Lancashire has been placed in Tier Two of this lockdown system – the “high alert” bracket – as the area was already under a local lockdown, and was subject to stricter restrictions than other parts of the country before the announcement yesterday; which means that Lancs students are now under this lockdown system.
But what does it actually mean? Well, it’s all been very confusing with announcements on restrictions coming out left, right and centre! So The Tab Lancaster have decided to break it down so we can all see what we now can and can’t do in Lancaster.
Pubs, clubs and restaurants
As before in our local lockdown, pubs and other hospitality venues like restaurants, bars, and clubs must close by 10pm and must only use table service. But we’re used to that in Lancs by now, so (unless we see further restrictions imposed) nothing has changed for us in that regard.
It should be noted that Lancashire “won a last-minute reprieve” from the government, and we are very close to being placed in Tier Three of lockdown, so these rules may change fairly quickly if the Lancaster infection rate remains high.
Can I meet up with friends?
If you have a garden you are now allowed to see friends and family in that area; previously, under local lockdown restrictions, this was banned in Lancashire. However, as long as you follow the “Rule of Six” then you can see people in a garden setting. Indoor socialising between non-bubble households is strictly banned in Lancashire.
We can still meet people in an outdoor setting, such as a park, in groups up to six people – you must also follow the social distancing rules when meeting up outdoors.
However, we can’t meet up with people we don’t live with in bars, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, or any other indoor hospitality venue. Previously this was allowed, but from 14th October this will no longer be permitted in Lancs.
What about the gym?
Being in the “high alert” bracket does not force gyms and leisure centres to close their doors at the moment. But being in Tier Three would mean that they have to close, so if any further restrictions are imposed on Lancashire then we may all have to get back to the Joe Wicks home workout videos!
But for now, gyms and leisure centres in Lancashire are allowed to operate with covid-safe measures in place.
Will more restrictions come?
Lancashire County Council seem to believe that more restrictions in Lancs are inevitable, and we only narrowly missed out on being in a Tier Three lockdown. Geoff Driver, leader of the County Council, said: “The stark truth is that Lancashire has some of the highest infection rates in the country and it is highly likely that more restrictions are on their way.”