Steps have been taken by the Government to simplify the pandemic restrictions, including through the rule of six, and now through a three-tier system of restrictions.
Areas where national restrictions continue to be in place are termed as 'medium', which means that all businesses and venues can continue to operate in a COVID-secure manner, other than those which are still banned from doing so, like night clubs. A curfew remains in place, which means that certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am, except delivery, drive through, or click and collect. It is most welcome that schools, universities, and places of worship remain open, with weddings and funerals permitted to go ahead in line with restrictions on the number of attendees. The rule of six applies in areas under a medium level alert.
Any area that is elevated to a 'high' level alert will experience further restrictions to reduce household to household transmission. As a result, people will be restricted from meeting anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, and meeting no more than a total group of six in outdoor settings like gardens and parks. People will be encouraged to reduce the number of journeys they make: if they need to travel, they should seek to avoid busy times or routes on public transport, or walk or cycle. Cheshire East – including the Congleton constituency – is a ‘high’ alert level area.
For areas deemed 'very high' alert level, the baseline measures include closure of pubs and bars, unless they operate as if they were a restaurant, prohibition of wedding receptions, and banning meeting with anybody outside the household or support bubble in any setting. People should avoid traveling in and out of 'very high' areas other than for things like work, education, or caring responsibilities. People who live in a 'very high' area should avoid staying overnight elsewhere, and people in 'medium' or 'high' areas should avoid staying overnight in 'very high areas. I understand that in these areas the Government will consult with local authorities to put in place any additional measures deemed necessary.
A postcode checker is being made available on the gov.uk website, and through the NHS Test and Trace app, so that people can confirm what measures are in place in their area. The list as of 12th October can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-announces-new-local-covid-alert-levels.