Coronavirus: The three-tier system explained

October 20, 2020
7 minute read
Cristian Halati

As the number of COVID-19 cases rises across England, the UK government has recently introduced a new three-tier system for England to help tackle the outbreak. The aim of the COVID-19 three-tier system is to apply the appropriate levels of interventions based on the needs of a specific geographical area.  

The new system is complex, and is comprised of three tiers according to the COVID alert level:  

Crucially, when a region moves up a tier, new restrictions are introduced on top of/in addition to the previous restrictions.  

Tier 1: Medium local COVID alert level

Most of England is already in Tier 1, as it encompasses the standard rules that have already been introduced. These are as follows:

All pre-existing guidelines continue to apply, including:

Tier 2: High local COVID alert level

Most areas that have been placed under local restrictions have automatically moved into the high alert level.  

Tier 2 adds a further set of restrictions on top of Tier 1.  

What’s changed:  

What stays the same:

All other guideline (wearing masks, social distancing, working from home) remain in place.  

Tier 3: Very High local COVID alert level

Tier 3 introduces additional restrictions:

What remains the same:  

All other pre-existing guidelines (wearing masks, social distancing, working from home) remain in place.  

Crucially, Tier 3 restrictions can vary from area to area based on discussion between central and local government. To keep up to date with the latest restrictions in your local area, click here.  

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