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Tier 3 lockdown: what we can and can’t do

Tier 3 lockdown: what we can and can’t do
Image source: Getty Images


It’s day one of a tier 3 lockdown across many parts of the UK, but let’s be honest – the rules are a little confusing. So, to help you make sense of the new restrictions, here’s a helpful overview. 

What is tier 3? 

Well, it’s one of the three tiers in England’s new Covid Alert Level system. The system is designed to:

  • Stop coronavirus spreading so rapidly across the country
  • Simplify lockdown rules so they’re easier to follow
  • Avoid national lockdowns by quarantining the hardest-hit areas

Most of England is under tier 1 or ‘medium’ restrictions right now, while areas with higher infection rates are on tier 2 or ‘high’ alert. 

If there’s a real chance of infection rates overwhelming the NHS in a particular area, it’s moved into tier 3 or ‘very high’ alert. 

Where does tier 3 apply?

Right now, the only areas under tier 3 restrictions are:

  • Liverpool
  • Wirral
  • St Helens
  • Halton
  • Knowsley
  • Sefton 

However, the rules could change at any time, so keep an eye on your local Covid-19 regulations here

What can I do right now?

There’s still a few things you can do in a tier 3 area, thankfully. You can still:

  • Visit restaurants, cafes and pubs that serve food (up until 10pm, since the curfew still applies)
  • See people in your support bubble inside the home 
  • Meet other people in a public outdoor space, so long as you stick to the rule of six 
  • Visit local shops, salons, and some gyms
  • Go to a place of worship
  • Attend university or college 

Social distancing rules still apply, though. And you should still wear a face covering where they’re mandated (e.g. in restaurants).

What can’t I do during a tier 3 lockdown?

Okay, so there’s quite a lot you can’t do in tier 3, and here’s what you need to know:

  • You can’t visit anyone else’s house or sit in their garden. Support bubbles are the only exception.
  • Pubs and bars are shut unless they serve food. 
  • You shouldn’t travel outside the area unless it’s absolutely essential. That includes staying overnight at a hotel or B&B.
  • Unless there’s a very good reason, you can’t visit family in care homes.
  • No wedding receptions are allowed.

So basically, work from home if you can, don’t travel unless it’s necessary, and stick to your own household.

But most importantly, remember this is just the baseline for tier 3. Local authorities can roll out stricter measures, like closing gyms (as has happened in Liverpool), shops, and beauty salons. That’s why you need to keep an eye on your local guidelines.

Is there a silver lining to any of this?

If you look hard enough, you can find a silver lining just about anywhere. Tier 3 restrictions are no exception. Why? Because there’s never been a better time to get a handle on your personal finances. Here are some practical steps you can take right now to improve your financial situation.  

Set new goals

Sure, it’s hard to plan for the future right now, but it’s not impossible. Now is a great time to learn new skills and really think about what you want from your career once the pandemic’s over. 

Here’s an idea to get you started – why not learn how to invest money? Whether it’s dealing shares or just opening a savings account, you can choose an investment opportunity to suit your needs.   

Get a side hustle

Whether it’s selling clothes online or trying your hand at flipping items for a profit, there are countless ways to earn some extra money online. The best part? You can start earning right away!

Pay off some debt

If you’re not going out so much, or you’re not buying new clothes, why not use the extra cash to reduce your credit card debt or pay down some loans?

Or, you could think about switching to a 0% balance transfer credit card. That way, you can spread the cost of your card repayments without paying any new interest for a while.

What next?

If you’re looking for more ways to make your money work for you, why not sign up for MyWalletHero’s email newsletter? You’ll receive our team’s top money-saving tips, lifestyle hacks and handy personal finance ‘must-knows’ – delivered straight to your inbox…

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