In mid-October, lockdown restrictions were stepped up in the capital as per the government’s new-fangled three-tiered system. Tier 2 saw indoor interactions between households squashed, as well as a 10pm curfew for hospitality venues and the continuation of the rule of six for outdoor socialising.
But each London borough is currently reporting more than 100 active cases per 100,000 people, and Imperial College London researchers estimate the R rate (as in, how fast the virus is reproducing) in London could be as high as 2.9. That means that, at present, each infected person in London passes on the virus to almost three other people.
As such, there’s understandably a lot more chatter building around London moving up into the next lockdown level: Tier 3, aka Very High Alert. So what would that actually look like for London? Here’s a breakdown of the Tier 3 rules:
You can’t go to a food-less pub. All pubs and bars will close under Tier 3 rules. However, they can remain open if they serve a ‘substantial meal’ to customers and are able to operate as a restaurant, in essence. Alcohol cannot be served without a square meal.
You can still dine out. But only with members of your household or bubble. And you can also still get a takeaway.
Hospitality venues will still close at 10pm.
You can socialise in groups of up to six, but only in outdoor settings. For Tier 3, this sadly excludes socialising in outdoor spaces at restaurants and bars, ie you can go to the park.
You can’t have people round to your house. Not even to your garden. (unless they are in your bubble of course)
You can still go to the cinema.
You may be able to go to hair and beauty salons. Tier 3 lockdown measures for beauty treatments have varied by area, with some parts of the country negotiating to keep salons open while other areas have closed the venues. London would undergo the same discussions before announcing Tier 3 measures.
You may be able to go to the gym. Again, this has varied from place to place and would hinge on London decision-making.
You may not be able to go to the theatre. The go-ahead for socially distanced shows is again at the discretion of local authorities.
You may not be able to go to museums and galleries. Again, they could be subject to closure following local discussions.
You can use public transport for journeys to work and school. But people are being asked to reduce the number of journeys ‘where possible’.
You shouldn’t leave London. Under Tier 3, residents are advised against travelling outside of the city, unless for work or education. Overnight stays outside Tier 3 are also discouraged.
These measures in London would act as a baseline set in law once we enter Tier 3. But local leaders would work with the government to determine further measures. Given the size of London and the varying rates of infection, many have speculated that new measures may include per borough restrictions or limitations on travel around the capital. But as London was treated as one under Tier 2 measures, we expect to see the same restrictions applied across all boroughs at once for Tier 3.
Obviously, things are changing all the time. But we’ll keep you updated as soon as we hear more on London lockdown restrictions.
Make the most of outdoor socialising at these London pubs with heaters.
See a socially distanced play! These ones are going ahead in 2020.