Seven key coronavirus rule changes between now and Christmas

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set new measures to fight the coronavirus in England over the winter.

The country will face tiered restrictions through the end of March when the current lockdown ends on December 2nd.

Here are the key points from Mr Johnson’s statement to the Commons.

Meet family and friends

The rule of six will return, with variations on whether socializing can be indoors or outdoors depending on your level.

In tier 1 – medium alarm – people can meet in groups of six indoors and outdoors, while in tier 2 – high alarm – being with five others is only allowed outdoors.

In Tier 3, the highest alert level, groups of six can only meet in public outdoor areas such as parks and sports fields – but not in private gardens.

Pubs, bars and restaurants

Hospitality is closed except for take out in areas with Tier 3 restrictions, but the rules for Levels 1 and 2 are a little more relaxed.

In tier 2 hospitality must be closed unless it is run as a restaurant and alcohol can only be served with a substantial meal.

In tier 1, venues may only be table service. The 10:00 p.m. curfew will be replaced with a final order call at 10:00 p.m. and the venues will have to close at 11:00 p.m. for Tier 1 and 2.

Shops, entertainment and hairdressers

In each category, retail and personal care products such as hairdressers and beauty salons can reopen.

Indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas, theaters, bowling alleys and casinos may remain open in levels 1 and 2, but not in tier 3.

Weddings, funerals and worship

Weddings and civil partnerships can resume with only 15 guests, although wedding receptions are prohibited in Tier 3.

30 people are allowed to attend funerals, but only 15 people can attend a wake.

Places of worship can be reopened for collective worship on all levels, but on levels 2 and 3, people are not allowed to interact with anyone outside their household or support bubble.

Gyms and exercise

Gyms and swimming pools can be reopened on all levels.

In Tier 1, classes and organized adult sports can take place outdoors, but must follow the rule of six indoors.

Indoor courses and organized adult sports cannot take place in tier 2 or 3 if there is interaction with different households.

In tier 3, courses and organized sports for adults can take place outdoors. However, it is recommended to avoid higher risk contact activities.

Top sport and live performances

Large events – such as theater and spectator sports – are permitted in levels 1 and 2, but with capacity reductions.

They are still blocked in Tier 3, but drive-in events are permitted.


The government is working on a limited time Christmas season with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Mr Johnson said Christmas was not “normal” this year, but acknowledged that “the time spent with loved ones is at a time of need for people of all faiths and none more precious.”

The plans are expected to be finalized this week.


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