Last reviewed 26 November 2020

With the current national lockdown in England set to end on 2 December, the Prime Minister has already confirmed a return to the three tier system (see Prime Minister unveils his Covid Winter Plan).

What he did not set out, however, was which parts of the country would be in which tier, with that information due to be confirmed by Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock.

Shortly before he was due to speak, the Government launched an online tool where it should be possible to enter a postcode to confirm the relevant tier. Unfortunately it almost immediately crashed but, assuming it is functional again, it can be found at https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-local-restrictions.

A full list of areas and the tiers to which they have been allocated is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/full-list-of-local-restriction-tiers-by-area.

According to the Health Secretary, allocation to a tier is based on: Case detection rates in all age groups; Case detection rates in the over 60s; the rate at which cases are rising or falling; positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken) and pressure on the NHS.

Tier 1

There are very few regions in Tier 1 (medium alert): Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly.

Tier 2

Within Tier 2 (High alert), the most notable entries are all 32 boroughs of London (plus the City) and Liverpool City Region (thanks, presumably to the enhanced testing trialled there).

Cumbria and Warrington and Cheshire join Liverpool in Tier 2 as do York, Worcestershire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire (including Peterborough), East and West Sussex, Surrey and Windsor and Maidenhead.

Much of the South West is also in Tier 2 including Dorset, Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Gloucestershire, Devon and Wiltshire and Swindon.

Tier 3

Turning to the Very High alert Tier 3, we find most of the North East including Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Newcastle upon Tyne, County Durham, Gateshead and Northumberland.

In the North West, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen all come under Tier 3 restrictions as do, on the other side of the Pennines, The Humber and West and South Yorkshire.

Much of the Midlands will also be in this tier: Birmingham and Black Country, Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in the west while in the east Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, Derby and Derbyshire, Leicester and Leicestershire and Lincolnshire are all included.

In the South East, only Slough and Kent and Medway fall into Tier 3 while the South West sees Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset included.

What are the restrictions?

An updated list of the restrictions (and exemptions) that will apply under the three tiers can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know.

The measures will be reviewed every fortnight, Mr Hancock said, with the first full review to be completed by 16 December.