On Monday, the Prime Minister explained that once lockdown ends, England will move to a new regional tier system. It has also published its Covid-19 Winter Plan which sets out the steps necessary to get England through the winter period.

There will be three tiers, but these are 'tougher' than those that were introduced in October. The new rules are expected to come into force on Wednesday 2 December (which is one day earlier than the four week lockdown is due to end). The government hasn't yet addressed this ambiguity - which has important implications for shops and many other businesses which need to know when they can legally re-open. We assume that the new regulations (which have not yet been published) will revoke the current lockdown regulations a day early.

We set out the rules which apply to all tiers below. However, you will note that under all of the tiers, workers are expected to work from home unless that's not possible. This is significant because the new regulations are expected to last until the end of March 2021.

 

Additional information about which businesses can operate whilst the tier system is operational are available here.

These proposals will have to be agreed by Parliament. The government has a comfortable majority, but it's reported that a significant number of its backbenchers are unhappy about the restrictions and may vote against them.

Also, tomorrow the government will publish details which explain which tier each region in England will be placed in. Individuals and businesses can use the postcode checker to find out what restrictions are in place in their area, or the area they plan to visit.