As lockdown two draws to a close on Wednesday 2nd December, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England will return to a three-tier system of restrictions.

The Prime Minister addressed the nation on Monday (23rd November) to reveal the plans, but the news has left people across the country speculating as to what tier they will be put in in the run up to Christmas.

So what tier will Harrogate be in? And when will the announcement be?

The announcement

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock will give a statement to the House of Commons at 11:30am today (Thursday 26th November) in which he will reveal which tier each local authority will be placed in.

It is then expected that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold a press conference this afternoon or this evening (a time is yet to be confirmed) to reveal these tiers to the public.

Reports from the national press in recent days have suggested that there are few areas in England that will be placed in Tier 1, the lowest alert category, where Harrogate was placed before the second national lockdown.

Most local authorities across the country are expected to be in tier two, with large numbers reportedly heading into tier three – the highest alert level.

Cenotaph Harrogate

Harrogate was placed in the lowest tier before the second national lockdown – but what tier will it be in following the latest review?

The tier-system

Rules that will apply to all tiers dictate that people can leave their homes for any purpose and can socialise in outdoor places as long as they stick to the ‘rule of six’.

In addition, all non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen! So what are the rules for each of the three tiers?

Tier 1:

The lowest alert level with the fewest restrictions.

Tier 1 will mean last orders at hospitality venues will be at 10pm (with the curfew extended to 11pm), whilst spectators can return to sports stadiums, with limits of 4,000 fans or 50% of capacity (whichever is lower).

Tier 2:

Mixing with other households is banned indoors, but the infamous ‘rule of six’ will remain in outdoor spaces.

Care home visits are allowed as long as social distancing measures are adhered to, whether that’s through pods, screens or window visits.

Spectators can return to sports stadiums, with limits of 2,000 fans or 50% of capacity (whichever is lower) and grassroots sport can take place outdoors without restrictions.

Tier 3:

The strictest and highest alert level, Tier 3 will see bars, restaurants and all hospitality venues remain closed, except for takeaway and delivery.

Mixing with other households is banned both indoors and outdoors, except in outdoor spaces where the ‘rule of six’ is adhered to.

No spectators are permitted in sports stadiums, whilst grassroots sport can take place outside but not ‘high risk contact activity’.

Indoor entertainment and hotels will remain closed.

We’ll have more updates on the tiers following the government’s announcement.