Coronavirus Tier 3 Restrictions

5 January 2021
Following the Prime Ministers announcement on 4 January 2021 the Tier system has ended as England moves into National Lockdown Three from 00:01 on 6 January 2021

South Yorkshire will enter Tier 3 Restrictions (Local Alert Level Very High) when it leaves the National Lockdown. The Tier 3 Restrictions begin at midnight on Wednesday 2 December 2020.


Updated guidance is released regularly and I will update this page as more details are announced.

This page was firstly published on 26 November 2020 and the last update was 8 March 2021.

This is for areas with a very high or very rapidly rising level of infections, where tighter restrictions are in place.

The following restrictions apply to all Tier 3 areas:

  1. People must not socialise with anybody they do not live with or have formed a support bubble with in any indoor setting or in most outdoor settings including private gardens and outdoor venues.
  2. People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports venue. This is called the rule of 6.
  3. Hospitality settings, such as pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants must close; unless they serve takeaway, click and collect, drive through or delivery services.
  4. Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training.
  5. Indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close. This includes: indoor play centres and areas, including trampolining parks and soft play, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, amusement arcades and adult gaming centres, laser quests and escape rooms, cinemas, theatres and concert halls and snooker halls.
  6. Indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close (indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such attractions can remain open). This includes indoor attractions within: zoos, safari parks, and wildlife reserves, aquariums, visitor attractions at farms, and other animal attractions, model villages, museums, galleries and sculpture parks, botanical gardens, biomes or greenhouses, theme parks, circuses, fairgrounds and funfairs, visitor attractions at film studios, heritage sites such as castles and stately homes and landmarks including observation decks and viewing platforms.
  7. Leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s. Saunas and steam rooms should close.
  8. Organised outdoor sport and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however high-risk contact activity should not take place.
  9. There should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators.
  10. Large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events
  11. Office workers who can work effectively from home should do so.
  12. Schools and universities remain open.
  13. Places of worship remain open, but household mixing is not permitted unless a legal exemption applies.
  14. Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees; 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, 15 people can attend linked commemorative events.
  15. People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. Anyone needing to travel should walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.
  16. Travelling outside the Tier 3 area should be avoided other than for things like work, education or youth services or to meet caring responsibilities.
  17. People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK and residents from other parts of the UK should avoid staying overnight in South Yorkshire.

Tier 3 Review Process

The Tier 3 restrictions will be reviewed every 14 days.

  • Review One: 16 December 2020
    South and West Yorkshire, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, North East Lincolnshire, Derbyshire (including Chesterfield) and Nottinghamshire (including Retford) all remain in Tier 3.

  • Review Two: 30 December 2020
    South Yorkshire (Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield), West Yorkshire (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield), East Riding of Yorkshire (Goole), Kingston upon Hull, North Lincolnshire (Scunthorpe) and North East Lincolnshire (Grimsby) all remain in Tier 3.

    North Yorkshire and the City of York will move from Tier 2 to Tier 3 on 31 December 2020.

    South Lincolnshire (Boston and Lincoln), Derbyshire (including Chesterfield) and Nottinghamshire (including Mansfield, Retford and Worksop) will all move from Tier 3 to Tier 4 at 00:01 31 December 2020.

Reviews will continue every two weeks, so the next one will be on 13 January 2021. MPs will debate and vote on the tier system again on 27 January. 

The Government have Five Tests which they consider to decide whether an area can move up or down the Tiers.

  1. Number of cases
  2. Rate of cases
  3. Rate of cases in the over 60’s
  4. Overall how much cases are increasing or decreasing
  5. How much pressure there is on the NHS i.e. bed occupancy by Coronavirus patients.

Seven–day Rolling Rate of New Cases In South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire moved from Tier 2 to Tier 3 at midnight on Friday 23 October 2020. At that point new cases in Sheffield were recorded as 2,736, with Rotherham at 1,186, Doncaster at 1,371 and Barnsley at 1,296 cases. The National Lockdown began two weeks later by which time new cases in Sheffield and Doncaster had decreased whilst new cases in Rotherham and Barnsley had increased.

Seven–day rolling rate of new cases per 100,000 for South Yorkshire:

Week Ending Sheffield Rotherham Doncaster Barnsley
13 October 2020 2,746 811 764 813
20 October 2020 2,736 1,186 1,371 1,296
28 October 2020 2,414 1,379 1,722 1,236
4 November 2020 2,290 1,264 1,268 1,562
11 November 2020 1,924 1,057 1,185 1,058
18 November 2020 1,541 784 895 796
25 November 2020 1,090 551 661 520
1 December 2020 921 539 636 400
8 December 2020 781 499 586 338
15 December 2020 916 696 692 424
22 December 2020 998 580 672 500
29 December 2020 1,148 583 852 580
5 January 2021 1,674 850 1,027 682
12 January 2021 1,597 726 1,049 586
19 January 2021 1,405 763 768 600
26 January 2021 1,347 701 649 621
2 February 2021 1,127 558 660 475
9 February 2021 925 597 575 500
16 February 2021 693 534 627 436
23 February 2021 778 493 549 411
2 March 2021 529 377 324 400
9 March 2021 498 346 320 345
16 March 2021 632 376 346 483
23 March 2021 763 422 452 402
30 March 2021 678 416 421 337
6 April 2021 455 196 256 246
13 April 2021 344 207 272 195
20 April 2021 214 132 213 140
27 April 2021 247 102 197 139
4 May 2021 269 107 169 150
11 May 2021

Seven–day rates are expressed per 100,000 population and are calculated by dividing the seven day count by the area population and multiplying by 100,000.

The figures are obtained from NHS England.

If the number of cases reduce sufficiently then the restrictions would be lowered to Tier 2. No indication of how far they would need to reduce by have been issued but comparison with other areas suggests they would need to be around the 100-150 cases pep 100,000.

If the number of cases begins to rise again then the area could move up to Tier 4 which brings further restrictions such as the closure of gyms and leisure centres, public buildings, such as libraries and community centres and personal care and close contact services, such as hairdressers and beauty salons.

The following graph prepared by Public Health England shows the weekly cases across England on 19 November 2020:

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Coronavirus Tier 3 Restrictions