New lockdown measures and restrictions for UK

Government Update

Article updated – 23/10/20

Article correct at time of writing: 12/10/20

Tough new regional lockdown measures will come into force from 5pm on Wednesday 14th October 2020 and are initially in place for four weeks. 

The new rules have been put in place in order to “simplify and standardise local rules by introducing a three tier system of Covid-19 alert levels” – medium, high and very high. 

What is the new three-tier traffic light system? 

The new system works by dividing the country into different areas based on local infection rates. People residing in areas that are under local lockdown will receive an alert directly to their mobile phones in an initiative that sits alongside the NHS Test and Trace app. The app will send a message to users when the status of their local area changes; for example, when their area risk level is heightened, and localised restrictions are put in place. 

England will be divided into three tiers and there are currently zero areas in the UK deemed “low risk.” Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have their own rules and restrictions in place. 

Tier one (Medium alert level) 
Will see a requirement for people to adhere to the rule of six and maintain social distancing both inside and out
 of their householdsNationwide rules will apply. 

Tier two (High alert level)
Requires people to not socialise with anybody outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.

Tier three (Very High alert level) 
Is the most severe form of local lockdown restrictions to be implemented and people
 will be ordered to withhold against contact with anyone outside of their household. Pubs and bars must close. They can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant, which means serving substantial meals, like  a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.

For more information on local COVID alert levels, including what they mean, why they are being introduced and what the different levels are visit the dedicated page here.

Which areas are in local lockdown and what are the rules?


Liverpool and Teesside  

Alert Level: Very High

Tougher restrictions were imposed on residents and business owners in the Liverpool city region, Warrington, Hartlepool, and Middlesbrough from midnight on 3rd October.   

The rules outlined included a ban on social mixing between different households “in all settings except outdoor public spaces like parks and outdoor hospitality.” Other measures also include a ban on all but essential travel and attending sporting events. 

The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, warned the government against a complete shutdown of businesse“without a valid reason”, noting that transmission rates for Covid-19 were 10 times higher in schools than pubs in the city. 

For more information on the restrictions, visit Liverpool City CouncilMiddlesbrough CouncilWarrington Borough Council, or Hartlepool Borough Council websites.  

North East  

Alert Level: High

Households in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham have not been allowed to meet other households indoors, including in hospitality settings, since September 30th 2020. 

As is the case in Liverpool, people in the North East are banned from meeting people from different households in social settings indoors, including in pubs, restaurants and homes. Only table service has been allowed since 18th September. 

For more information on the restrictions, visit Northumberland County Council, North Tyneside Council, South Tyneside Council, Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council, Sunderland Council, or Durham County Council websites.


Alert Level: High

Residents of Leeds entered into local lockdown at midnight on 26th September in which they were banned from socialising with people indoors or outdoors at each other’s homes. Fines will be dished out for individuals or households who break the rules. The only exemptions that apply is for children with parents living apart, existing social bubbles and for tradespeople.  

For more information on restrictions, visit Leeds City Council website.


Alert Level: High

Local lockdowns in London are set to come in to force at midnight on Friday 16th October, barring the city’s 9 million plus residents from meeting other people outside of their own household or social bubble in any indoor location.

Pubs, restaurants and bars will remain open with the 10pm curfew for hospitality businesses remaining in place, whilst residents will be advised against making unnecessary travel plans. The “Rule of 6” limit on gatherings is unchanged.

For more information on restrictions, visit the London Councils website.

North West 

Alert Level: High

People in Warrington, Halton and Lancashire are banned from socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble.  

Guidance regarding table-service hospitality and the 10pm entertainment and leisure curfew has been in force since September 22nd. 

Residents are also advised to adhere to the following guidance to further reduce rates of infection: Only to use public transport for essential purposes and to avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.   

For more information on restrictions, visit the Warrington Borough Council, Halton Borough Council, or Lancashire County Council website.


Alert Level: High

Includes: Leicester City, and, since September 22nd, Oadby and Wigston. 

Residents are banned from: 

  • Meeting people from different households in a private home or garden & hosting people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble 
  • Meeting people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of Leicester, unless they’re in your support bubble 

Some businesses were able to reopen in Leicester from September 15th and will now be subject to the same business restrictions as the majority of England. 

For more information on restrictions, visit the Leicester City Council or Leicestershire County Council websites.

West Midlands 

Alert Level: High

Households in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull have been banned from meeting each other since September 15th. It was announced today (12.10/20) that Birmingham will be placed into Tier 2 on Wednesday 14th October due to a surge in Covid-19 cases in the past three weeks.

Coventry and Stoke on Trent have now also moved into Tier 2.

Residents are banned from: 

  • Hosting people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble 
  • Meeting people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected areas, unless they’re in your support bubble 

In Wolverhampton and Oadby & Wigston, residents have been banned from socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens since September 22nd. 

For more information on restrictions, visit the Birmingham City Council, Sandwell Council, or Solihull Council websites.

Greater Manchester 

Alert Level: Very High

Greater Manchester is currently in Tier 3 – the “very high” category. The region’s pubs and bars will be closed for 28 days unless they are serving “substantial meals.”

Social mixing is banned indoors and in private gardens, and the rule of six applies in outdoor settings such as parks, public gardens and sports venues.

The following restrictions apply to Bolton: 

  • All hospitality venues in the area have been restricted to takeaway service only, meaning the closures of pubs and restaurants 
  • All venues will be required to close between 10pm and 5am 
  • You are banned from socialising with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues such as bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes. You should avoid interaction with individuals or groups from other households when out.  
  • You must not meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where you have formed a support bubble, or for other limited reasons specified in law. You are banned from visiting someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas 

For more information on restrictions, visit the Manchester City Council, or Bolton Council websites.


Alert Level: Very High

In Rossendale, Hyndburn, Burnley and South Ribble, West Lancashire, Chorley, Wyre, Fylde, Lancaster, Ribble Valley new restrictions were imposed on September 18th.  

On 16th October, it was announced that Lancashire was to be placed into a Tier 3 local lockdown after securing a £42 million funding deal to help vulnerable people and businesses forced to close. As part of the deal, any pubs and restaurants not offering food as part of their offering is required to close.

You must not: 

  • Meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where you have formed a support bubble (or for other limited exemptions to be specified in law) 
  • Visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas 
  • Socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. You may attend these venues with people you live with (or are in a support bubble with), but should avoid interaction with individuals or groups from other households. If you run such a business or organise events on their premises, you should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with Covid-19 secure guidance

For more information on restrictions, visit the Lancashire County Council, Rossendale Borough Council, Hyndburn Council, Burnley Borough Council, South Ribble Borough Council, West Lancashire Borough Council, Chorley Council, Wyre Council, Fylde Council, Lancaster City Council, or Ribble Valley Borough Council.


Alert Level: High & Very High

All parts of Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Wakefield and Calderdale have been banned from socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens since September 22nd. 

South Yorkshire is moving into Tier 3 from 24.10.20 and the rules will apply to all council areas, including Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

For more information on restrictions, visit the Leeds City Council, Bradford Council, Kirklees Council, Wakefield Council, Calderdale Council, Barnsley Council, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Doncaster Council, or Sheffield City Council.

Wales including Cardiff, Swansea and Llanelli 

As of today (19/10/20), Wales has entered a temporary lockdown until 9th November, with the government advising people to stay at home and forcing the closure of pubs, restaurants, hotels and non-essential shops.

Gathering indoors or outdoors with people outside your household or bubble will also be banned. 

The announcement follows rising case numbers in Wales and increasing hospital admissions, and replaces the 17 local lockdowns that had been in place.

No one residing in high or very high areas are currently allowed to enter Wales under new restrictions enforced this week (16/10/20).

For more information on restrictions, visit the Cardiff Council, Swansea Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, Neath Port Talbot Council, Torfaen County Borough Council  or Vale of Glamorgan CouncilBlaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Bridgend County Borough Council, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Newport City Council, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, Conwy County Borough Council, Flintshire County Council, Denbighshire County Council, or Wrexham County Borough Council websites.


New measures to close pubs and restaurants across central Scotland came into force on Friday 9th October 2020at 6pm and will be in place until 25th October. 

The news rules will apply to licensed properties across the central belt, including Glasgow and Edinburgh. 

Hospitality businesses in other parts of Scotland will still be allowed to open but can only serve alcohol outdoors as part of the new measures; they will also only be allowed to serve food and non-alcoholic drinks between 6am and 6pm.  

From 6pm on Friday 9th October, all pubs and restaurants in the five areas where cases of infection are rising: Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley, will have to close both indoors and outdoors, although takeaways will still be permitted. 

People in all areas of Scotland should not meet with people of other households in indoor household settings. Members of different households can continue to meet outdoors, including in gardens, and in hospitality settings, although a 10pm curfew on hospitality settings applies, and the groups must be no larger than six people from two different households.  

People in the five health boards under tougher restrictions have also been asked to avoid public transport unless absolutely necessary in the next two weeks, and use it only when travelling to work, school or for other unavoidable reasons. 

For more information on restrictions, visit the Glasgow City Council, South Lanarkshire Council, North Lanarkshire Council, South Ayrshire Council, North Ayrshire Council, East Ayrshire CouncilWest Lothian Council, East Lothian Council, or The City of Edinburgh Council

Northern Ireland 

The hospitality sector (excluding delivery and takeaway) will close for four weeks from Friday 16th October as part of new restrictions to halt the spread of Covid-19.

Takeaways will be put under the same 11pm curfew as the rest of the hospitality sector, and no events involving more than 15 people, except for certain outdoor sporting events, will be allowed. Off licences and supermarkets will not be permitted to sell alcohol after 8pm.

Restrictions on social gatherings are now imposed across the entirety of Northern Ireland. Under the new rules, there should be no mixing of two households indoors except for single-person household bubbles and certain other exemptions. 

  • No household mixing indoors
  • Hospitality venues must close by 11pm
  • Additional rules in Derry City and Strabane
  • No more than six people from two households can meet in private gardens. 

For more information on restrictions, visit the Derry City & Strabane District Council

We will continue to update our members on the latest measures as and when they come in. For live updates as they happen, visit The Telegraph. For more government information on Covid-19, including guidance and support, visit 

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