South Gloucestershire is in Tier 3 (Very High alert). This came into force on 2 December and was re-enforced on 19 December and again on 30 December.

Government guidance

  • you must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility – this is called the ‘rule of 6’
  • hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
  • 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 
  • 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
    • snooker halls
  • 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
    • landmarks including observation decks and viewing platforms
  • leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close
  • 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
  • large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events
  • places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with  anyone outside of your household or support bubble while you are there, unless a legal exemption applies
  • 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
  • organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place
  • organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place indoors. There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s
  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
  • avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey
  • for international travel see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list

You can read more on the GOV.UK website: Local restriction tiers: what you need to know

Exemptions from gatherings limits in all tiers

  • as part of a single household, or a support bubble
  • for work or providing voluntary or charitable services, including in other people’s homes
  • for childcare, education or training – meaning education and training provided as part of a formal curriculum
  • for supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care (before and after-school childcare), groups and activities for under 18s, and children’s playgroups
  • for formal support groups, and parent and child groups – up to 15 people aged 5 and older
  • to allow contact between birth parents and children in care, as well as between siblings in care
  • for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians
  • for prospective adopting parents to meet a child or children who may be placed with them
  • for birth partners
  • to attend a funeral – with no more than 30 people present – or a commemorative event such as a wake for someone who has died – with no more than 15 people present
  • to see someone who is terminally ill or at the end of life
  • to attend a wedding or civil partnership – with no more than 15 people present
  • to provide emergency assistance
  • to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm
  • to fulfil a legal obligation, such as attending court or jury service
  • to provide care or assistance to someone vulnerable or to provide respite for a carer
  • to facilitate moving home

Answers to your questions

Why is South Gloucestershire in Tier 3?

The tier system is decided by government and is based on a range of criteria. This includes data about the number of cases across all ages and in the over 60s, how quickly the rates are rising or falling and the positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken). 

You can read the government’s full press release for all regions – 30 December 2020.

Why has South Gloucestershire not been placed in Tier 4?

The tier system is decided by government and is based on a range of criteria. This includes data about the number of cases across all ages and in the over 60s, how quickly the rates are rising or falling and the positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken). Our numbers remain high but have not increased dramatically like in other areas which have been placed into Tier 4. However, the pressure on our healthcare system remains high which means we still need to follow tough restrictions to help stop the spread and keep South Gloucestershire safe.

Can I travel in/out of South Gloucestershire?

The guidance states that you can travel in and out of South Gloucestershire for essential reasons only. These reasons include education, work, medical treatment, voluntary work, caring responsibilities, moving home, and to visit your support bubble.

South Gloucestershire residents can visit venues within South Gloucestershire which are open under Tier 3 restrictions, but you must not travel to venues outside of South Gloucestershire unless for essential reasons. You can read the full travel guidance for Tier 3 on the GOV.UK website.

You must not travel if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms, are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms, or have been told to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

How am I to receive medical treatment?

You should follow the same procedures as you always have. Visit your GP if you need to. You should continue to use the same healthcare facilities as before unless instructed otherwise. Medical treatment is one of the essential reasons when you can travel outside of South Gloucestershire.

How will these rules be enforced?

Police will continue to enforce the rules. We will continue to regulate businesses in regards to Covid-19 guidelines and our Covid engagement officers will continue to offer advice and guidance to members of the public.

How do I report someone breaching the restrictions?

If you know someone is breaking the rules, report it and help us keep South Gloucestershire safe.

To report a business which is not complying with the rules email: or call 01454 868001

To report gatherings of more people than restrictions allow complete the online form on the Avon and Somerset Police website or call the police on 101 (non emergencies) or 999 (emergencies).

What is different in Tier 3 from the national restrictions?

The main differences are that all non-essential shops can reopen in Tier 3, as long as they have Covid-19 secure measures in place. Hospitality venues including pubs, cafes and restaurants must remain closed other than for takeaway, delivery or drive-through. You can now meet in groups of up to six outdoors in public places only (not in private gardens). You should keep your distance from anyone not in your household or support bubble and minimise the number of different people you see socially.

What financial support is available for local businesses?

There are a range of local business grants including support for closed businesses, those which are open but have been impacted by Covid-19 and also support for ‘wet led’ pubs.  Read more and apply online.

I am clinically extremely vulnerable, are there any changes for me in Tier 3 restrictions?

The shielding programme is currently paused. You can read the guidance for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable (which applies from 2 December) on the GOV.UK website: COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable.

Local support is still available, for more information visit our get help and support page.

Do under 1s count in the rule of six?

Yes they do count towards the rule of six. There are exceptions where people can continue to gather indoors, or in groups larger than 6 outdoors, including for support and childcare bubbles.

Separate guidance for support bubbles and childcare bubbles across all tiers is available on the GOV.UK website. Support bubbles have been expanded. From 2 December you can form a support bubble with another household if any of the following apply to you:

  • you are the only adult in your household – any other members of the household having been under 18 on 12 June 2020 – or are an under-18-year-old living alone
  • you live with someone with a disability who requires continuous care and there is no other adult living in the household
  • you live with a child who is under 1, or who was under 1 on 2 December 2020
  • you live with a child who is under 5, or who was under 5 on 2 December 2020, with a disability

Can youth groups and dance and sports classes for under 18s operate in Tier 3?

Yes groups provided for under 18s can still run in a Covid-19 secure setting.

Can mobile hairdressers operate in Tier 3?

Mobile hairdressers are allowed to work in Tier 3, but must have Covid-19 secure measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

Is data available on positive cases per age range?

Data on age-specific rates for Covid-19 infections is not currently available publicly, however we are reviewing our Covid-19 public dashboard and suggest you monitor it, as this is where we will include age-specific rates when available.


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