London will be in Tier 2 from December 2nd
Whilst the national lockdown comes to an end, some restrictions will be lifted but life will not look normal just yet
The national lockdown, which saw all non-essential businesses forced to close and heavy travel restrictions across the country, is set to end on December 2nd. The country will be placed into a three tier system, and it has been confirmed that London will be in Tier 2.
This is despite signs that infection rates were starting to fall: Government figures showed the seven-day rate had fallen to 197.2 per 100,000 residents, down from a record high of 198.9 on November 21.
The tier system was originally introduced in October to try and curb local infection rates. London was originally in Tier 1 with most of the rest of the country, but it moved into Tier 3 on 17th October due to rising infection rates.
Due to the national lockdown in November, the tiers were temporarily abolished but they will be back in force from December 2nd, having been revised by the government
What does Tier 2 in London mean this time?
Tier 2 restrictions meant that no household mixing is allowed in an indoor space. This means that meeting other households in your home or in a pub or restaurant is banned if you are indoors.
In outdoors spaces, the rule of six applies but you are allowed to mix with other households in public parks and private gardens (and beer gardens).
Non-essential retail is allowed to reopen, as well as pubs and restaurants.
One new introduction to Tier 2 is the fact that pubs can only serve alcohol along with a substantial meal, meaning you can’t pop down to your local for a pint unless you have it with food. The good news is that the 10pm curfew has been relaxed, meaning pubs and restaurants are now allowed to open until 11pm every day.
Another new rule is that spectator sports and live performances are able to have live audiences once more, albeit in a limited capacity with social distancing rules still applying. The maximum capacity is 50 per cent in outdoor venues and the maximum capacity indoors is 1,000 people.
Gyms are also allowed to reopen under Tier 2 restrictions.
The good news is that things seem to be opening up: you can go shopping just in time for Christmas, get your hair cut after a month of growing it out, and enjoy a meal out with your household.
The tier system is set to be reviewed on December 16th, so these restrictions may be temporary.
Matt Hancock has said: “I know how difficult this has been, especially for those areas who have been in tougher restrictions for so long.” We will get through this, even if it means the last few weeks before term ends are still under restrictions.