We’ve all heard about the tiered lockdown system, but many of us are struggling to understand exactly what that means for business owners and employers.

On Monday 12th October, the UK government announced that it would be splitting areas of the UK into tiered lockdown zones, depending on the severity of the localised infection rate.

The alert zones are split into Tier 1 (Medium Risk), Tier 2 (High Risk) and Tier 3 (Very High Risk), and depending on which zone you fall under, your business will face different lockdown rules and regulations.

We’ll be updating this page as we hear more, but we wanted to provide employers with a simple reference point to understand how the tiered lockdown system will affect their business.

Let’s take a look!

How Will Tier 1 Medium Risk Lockdown Affect My Business?

In Tier 1, your business needs to observe the national lockdown rules that are currently in place.

This means your business must ensure customers comply to the ‘Rule of 6’, which applies to both indoor and outdoor settings.

If you’re a restaurant, bar or pub, you can continue as you have been currently, abiding by the 10pm curfew.

Businesses who run wedding events can continue to accommodate parties of up to 15 people.

Gyms, may remain open under Tier 1 rules.

The current rules regarding face coverings in businesses remain – customers in private hire vehicles and taxis must wear a face covering, and customers who are not seated at a table in a restaurant, pub or bar.

Face coverings and visors still need to be worn for close contact services, such as dentistry, beauty treatments, nail treatments and the like.

Office workers who are able to, should continue to work from home.

If an employee cannot reasonably do their job from home, they may attend their place of work, as long as COVID-19 guidelines are adhered to.

Food and drink businesses, clubs, bingo halls, leisure centres and themeparks must close at 10pm, but food businesses can continue to offer a delivery service after this time.

In food businesses, customers must not leave their table for ordering.

All business premises must display the NHS Check In QR code for use with the NHS Track and Trace App.

Businesses may be subject to a £10,000 fine for repeatedly breaking the COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is self-isolating to come to work.

Buinesses must encourage and remind people to where face coverings where mandated.

How Will Tier 2 High Risk Lockdown Affect My Business?

Businesses who fall under the Tier 2 Category (Currently Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Warrington, Derbyshire, Lancashire, West Yorkshire, The North East and Tees Valley) will be required to follow all of the rules stated above in Tier 1, but additionally will need to ensure the following rules are adhered to:

Employees who cannot continue to work from home may continue to travel to work.

Businesses who can operate in a COVID secure manner, may continue to operate.

Businesses should only allow groups of people to attend their premises who are from the same household.

There are very few changes applicable to businesses under tier 2 lockdown.

How Will Tier 3 High Risk Lockdown Affect My Business?

Currently the Liverpool City Region is the only area to be placed under Tier 3 Lockdown Rules, however a few other cities have been marked as potentially moving into this tier in the coming weeks.

The Liverpool City Region includes the Wirral, Halton, St.Helens, Sefton and Knowsley.

Businesses in the Tier 3 High Risk Lockdown category must follow all of the rules stated above, and additionally:

Pubs and bars must close, unless they can operate as a restaurant serving full meals.

Businesses will not be allowed to run or accommodate wedding receptions.

Travel in and out of the area is advised against, but currently not illegal. Travelling for work purposes is allowed.

People from Tier 3 areas should not travel out of their area for overnight stays, so hotels and accommodation should be mindful of this.

In Liverpool, the local area has imposed further restrictions to close all gyms, leisure centres and casinos.

‘Non-Essential’ shops will remain open and trading.


We will continue to update this page as we receive further information.

Don’t forget, if your staff are stuck at home, why not consider upskilling them? Our courses are pandemic proof, and many are delivered in an online classroom setting by our experienced tutors.

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