Coronavirus Winter Plan

The Prime Minister announced his Coronavirus Winter Plan announced on 23 November. The Winter Plan will ensure the national lockdown can end on 2 December. The Winter Plan introduces a standardised three tiered system of local restrictions. A fourth tier was announced by the Prime Minister on 19 December 2020.

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


These measures will be kept under constant review and local areas could move from one tier to another with little notice. I will update this page as amendments are announced.

This page was firstly published on 24 November 2020 and the last update was 5 January 2021.

The previous tier system had become complex with different rules in different areas. The three new tiers are medium, high, and very high and they will introduce a standardised approach that will be simpler to understand and comply with.

The Four Tiered System of The Winter Plan

For Tiers 1 – 3 the following rules apply, regardless of which tier your area falls in:

  1. The stay at home requirement will end, with domestic and international travel being permitted again subject to guidance in each tier.
  2. Shops, personal care, gyms and the wider leisure sector will reopen.
  3. Collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume, subject to social distancing.
  4. People will no longer be limited to seeing only one other person in outdoor public spaces – the rule of 6 will now apply as it did in the previous set of tiers.

The Four Tiers

From 19 December 2020 there are fourtiers as follows:

  • Tier One – Medium Risk
  • Tier Two – High Risk
  • Tier Three – Very High Risk
  • Tier Four – Stay At Home
Tier 1

The Scilly Isles are the only area in Tier 1 from 31 December 2020.

Tier 2

This is for areas with a higher level of infections and primarily aims to reduce household to household transmission by preventing all mixing between households or support bubbles indoors.

As of 31 December 2020 no areas of the Country are in Tier 2.

Tier 3

The very high alert level will apply where transmission rates are causing the greatest concern.

A small number of areas, including South Yorkshire, are in Tier 3 from 31 December 2020. Check the restrictions that have been agreed for South Yorkshire and other Tier 3 areas.

Tier 4

The Stay At Home alert level will apply in areas with a very rapidly rising level of infection.

Tier 4 residents must not leave or be outside of their home except for where they have a specific purpose, or a ‘reasonable excuse’. A reasonable excuse includes:

  • Work and volunteering
  • Essential activities such as shopping for food or medicine
  • Fulfilling legal obligations
  • Education and childcare
  • Exercise and recreation
  • Medical reasons, harm and compassionate visits
  • Communal worship and life events

Residents can also leave home to visit someone who is dying or someone in a care home (if permitted under care home guidance), hospice, or hospital, or to accompany them to a medical appointment.

People should not enter or leave Tier 4 areas, and Tier 4 residents must not stay overnight away from home.

Most of England will be in Tier 4 from 31 December 2020.

Post Code Checker

A Postcode Checker was created on Gov.UK during the morning of 26 November but that crashed very quickly and was replaced by a list of Tiers by Area.

What Happens Next?

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.

The Tier 3 restrictions will be reviewed after 14 days, with the first review to be held on or around the 16 December 2020 with any movement between Tiers taking effect on 19 December 2020. This means South Yorkshire will be in Tier 3 until at least Friday 18 December 2020.

The current Tier system will end on 2 February 2021. What will happen after that will be debated in parliament towards the end of January 2021.

If you have any questions please call me on 0114 360 0626 or simply email me at

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Coronavirus Winter Plan