Tier 3 Level Alert

From Wednesday the 16th of December, London will move into Tier 3 – Very High alert. Find out how it will influence your business.
14 December 2020

Businesses and venues

As well as specific exemptions set out below, any closed business can remain open for:

  • providing essential voluntary services or urgent public support services, including the provision of food banks or other support for the homeless or vulnerable people, blood donation sessions, support in an emergency
  • for the making of a film, television programme, audio programme or audio-visual advertisement
  • for the purpose of voting or related activities

Hospitality

Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha bars), pubs, cafes, restaurants, and social clubs must close except for takeaway, delivery and click and collect services. This includes restaurants and bars within hotels or member’s clubs. Exemptions apply for the following settings:

Cafes and canteens at:

  • hospitals, care homes, or supported housing as part of extra care schemes
  • schools and providers of post-16 education and training, such as further education colleges
  • higher education accommodation, and at higher education providers (where there is no practical alternative for staff and students to obtain food and where alcohol is not served for consumption on the premises)
  • criminal justice accommodation or immigration detention centres
  • naval/military/airforce or MoD facilities
  • workplace canteens (where there is no practical alternative and where alcohol is not served for consumption on the premises)

Services providing food or drink to those experiencing homelessness can also remain open.

Businesses and venues selling alcohol for consumption off the premises can continue to do so as long as this is through takeaway, delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through

Food or alcohol purchased from a hospitality premises via takeaway or click-and-collect may not be consumed on any part of that premises, including beer gardens, as well as adjacent seating to the premises (with exceptions for motorway service areas, airports, seaports, the international terminal at Folkestone and public transport services although these places cannot sell alcohol after 11pm).

Businesses must not provide shared smoking equipment for use on the premises.

Accommodation

Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, holiday lets and guest houses must close. These premises can only open for a person, who:

  • is unable to return to their main residence
  • uses it as their main residence
  • needs it while moving house
  • needs it to attend a funeral, linked commemorative event or following a bereavement of a close family member or friend
  • is isolating themselves from others as required by law
  • is an elite athlete (or their coach) and needs it for training or competition
  • needs it for work purposes, or to provide voluntary or charitable service
  • was staying there immediately before the area entered Tier 3
  • needs it to attend education or training
  • is a carer for someone they live with and is seeking respite
  • needs to attend a medical appointment or treatment

They can also open:

  • to enable voting, including an overseas election
  • as a women’s refuge or a vulnerable person’s refuge
  • for any purpose requested by the Secretary of State, or a local authority

Businesses that remain open in law, but are located within accommodation, such as a spa within a hotel, can remain open.

These restrictions on accommodation do not apply between 22 to 28 December 2020. This means that accommodation may open during this period for people to stay in order to be located near their Christmas bubbles. However other restrictions, such as those on hospitality and social contact still apply - so people cannot mix with their Christmas bubble in a hotel, for example, unless a member of their bubble lives their permanently. Please see separate guidance for more information on the rules for social contact during the Christmas period (23 to 27 December).

Closed entertainment venues and visitor attractions

The following entertainment and tourist venues must close:

  • indoor play centres and areas, including inflatable parks and soft play centres and areas (other than for people who have a disability)
  • trampolining parks (other than for elite athletes, people with a disability, supervised activities for children and for formal education or training purposes)
  • casinos
  • bingo halls
  • bowling alleys
  • indoor skating rinks (other than for elite athletes, professional dancers and choreographers, people with a disability, supervised activities for children and for formal education or training purposes)
  • amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
  • nightclubs and adult entertainment venues
  • laser quests and escape rooms
  • cinemas, theatres concert halls – other than drive-in events, broadcasting performances, training or rehearsal
  • circuses
  • snooker and pool halls (other than for elite athletes)

At the following outdoor entertainment venues, the indoor attractions must close:

  • zoos, safari parks, and aquariums
  • other animal attractions including farms
  • water parks and aqua parks
  • model villages
  • museums, galleries and sculpture parks
  • botanical or other gardens, biomes or greenhouses
  • theme parks, fairgrounds and funfairs
  • adventure playgrounds and parks, including ziplining
  • visitor attractions at film studios,
  • heritage sites such as castles, stately homes or heritage railways
  • landmarks including observation wheels and viewing platforms

Other restricted venues

Conference centres and exhibition halls are closed for the purposes of hosting conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining events or banquets

Venues which can remain open

The following outdoor venue can remain open:

  • outdoor tourism and entertainment venues can remain open subject to following the relevant rules and guidelines
  • outdoor cinemas, theatres and concert venues can remain open for drive-in only, but must close at 11pm, other than for the purposes of concluding a performance which began before 10pm
  • outdoor events, such as funfairs can continue to happen in line with COVID-secure guidance – other than large outdoor performance events (performances, shows and screenings), which must be drive-in only
  • leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead
  • retail premises may open, other than shops situated inside closed premises that cannot be accessed directly from the street – retail premises within accommodation may also stay open
  • personal care and close contact services such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas and beauty services, saunas, steam rooms, massage parlours and tanning salons can remain open.
  • community centres and halls, and libraries can remain open. Group events should not take place, unless there’s a specific legal exemption to the social contact rules e.g. support groups, supervised activities for children.
  • recycling and waste centres, car parks, and public toilets may continue to stay open

All businesses and venues should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.

In certain indoor settings, staff and customers must wear face coverings, unless they have an exemption.

Businesses must ensure that if their workers need to self-isolate, they do not work outside their designated place of self-isolation.

Some businesses have to collect customer, visitor and staff data to support NHS Test and Trace.

If businesses fail to comply with these restrictions, they can face fines of up to £10,000, prosecution or closure.

See full guidance on which businesses and venues are permitted to be open under each local restriction tier.

More news




Check our recent Ambassador report for December 2020 prepared by our Ambassador Michael.
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Expression of interest to participate in the new phase of outdoor signage installation (queue management)