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The UK Government announces new Tier system and rules starting on 2 December for England

Published on: 26 November 2020

The Government has announced that a renewed and slightly tweaked three Tier system will be replacing England’s national lockdown on 2 December 2020. The three Tiers are closely aligned with the tiered system that England had in place before the second national lockdown but with some key differences:

  • The rules for each Tier will also be tightened (although there is some loosening too, for circumstances such as business events).
  • Enforcement powers for local authorities will be strengthened, including specially trained officers with the power to close down premises that pose a risk.
  • There are no additional local restrictions when entering Tier 3, only the set national restrictions.

The names of the Tiers have remained the same and all parts of England will be placed into one of the Tiers, with Tier 1 being the least restrictive known as ‘medium risk’ and Tier 3 being the most restrictive known as ‘very high risk’. To find out what Tier your local area is in please click here. 

In all Tiers, everyone who can work from home should do so, but where this is not possible people should return to work following COVID-19 protocols. 

In all Tiers, the following businesses and venues can remain open (subject to up to date risk assessments and COVID-19 protocols):

  • Essential and non-essential retail, for example brokerage and chandleries.
  • Manufacturing, boat repair and refit yards.
  • Marinas can stay open, and in general restrictions on travel have been lifted so boat owners can travel again to maintain their vessels. However, the government advises against overnight stays away from home, other than for specific reasons when in Tier 2 and Tier 3. Marinas should remind customers to follow the guidelines and to avoid travelling in from Tier 3 areas.
  • Cafes, bars and restaurants on marina sites must follow the correct procedures for the Tier. When in Tier 3, cafes, bars and restaurants can offer takeaway service only.
  • Certain leisure and sporting facilities such as gyms, sports courts and facilities, leisure centres, fitness and dance studios, golf courses, swimming pools, riding centres, outdoor playgrounds are to remain open – subject to relevant social contact rules in each tier. Indoor group activities and classes should not take place at Tier 3.
  • Personal care and close contact services such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas and beauty services, massage parlours and tanning salons.
  • Public buildings, such as libraries, community centres and halls. They should not host events for private hire, such as Birthday parties or most other social activities in Tier 3.

Below is a summary of how each tier will impact marine businesses:

Tier 1

Marine businesses in Tier 1 will be impacted as follows: 

All staff should, where possible, work from home. Marine retail of all descriptions can stay open and operate according to their COVID-19 secure protocols. Holiday hire vessels are free to operate as long as the guests are following government guidelines on socialising inline with the rule of six. Passenger vessels can operate as per their COVID-19 protocols, however if they sell food or alcohol they must abide by the government rules (i.e. table service only, no orders past 10pm and must close at 11pm). These rules also apply to marina cafes, bars and restaurants. Venues including passenger vessels hosting business events can do so at 50% capacity. Passenger vessels can perform wakes and ashes scatterings for up to 15 people.

Tier 2

Marine businesses in Tier 2 will be impacted as follows: 

All staff should, where possible, work from home. Marine retail of all descriptions can stay open and operate according to their COVID-19 secure protocols. Holiday hire vessels can still operate but there are tighter restrictions on socialising and mixing of households, if the vessel has a cabin then only one household can hire the vessel and if the vessel is an open vessel they can hire out in line with the rule of six. Passenger vessels can operate as per their COVID-19 protocols, however if they sell food or alcohol they must abide by set rules (i.e. table service only, alcohol can only be served with a substantial meal, no orders past 10pm and must close at 11pm). Venues including passenger vessels hosting business events can do so at 50% capacity. Passenger vessels can perform wedding receptions for up to 15 people and also wakes and ashes scatterings for up to 15 people.

Tier 3

Marine businesses in Tier 3 will be impacted as follows: 

All staff should, where possible, work from home. Marine retail of all descriptions can stay open and operate according to their COVID-19 secure protocols. Holiday hire vessels must stop operations. Passenger vessels must stop general operations but can continue to operate for wakes and ashes scatterings for up to 15 people but not wedding receptions.

For a full list of the restrictions each Tier implements please visit the Gov.uk website.