Emerging from the fog of the UK’s second lockdown and into the festive season might have signalled a new lease of life for many. With bans on travel, shopping and socialising lifted, some may have already begun planning their festive breaks and booking London getaway deals. However, with the emergence from lockdown comes a new set of rules that could lead to even more questions. The multi-tiered post-lockdown system instigated by the UK government and approved by international health organisations means that different parts of the country are under different pandemic-proof restrictions, dependent on the infection rates in their area.
There are country-wide similarities in the restrictions and many other details that are area dependent. If you’re planning a stay at The Chilworth London Paddington from inside or outside the country, then you’ll no doubt have a few questions that you’ll want answering before your visit.
What Tier Is London In?
London is currently designated at tier 2 level. With three tiers to choose from, tier 2 represents “high risk” of infection spikes. This might sound alarming but tier 3 is designated for “very high risk”, and so is far stricter than London’s current status. As it stands, London could be raised or lowered at any time, depending completely on the infection rates over the festive season in the city.
What Are The Other Tiers?
Other parts of England have been given tier 1 and tier 3 statuses. The areas under tier 3, denoting a very high infection rate include Bristol, Greater Manchester, Much of Yorkshire and Northumberland and Durham. The only areas that are under tier 1 restrictions, denoting medium infection rates, are the Scottish Highlands, Cornwall and the Isle Of Wight.
Can I Stay At A Hotel?
Tier 3 restricts hotels from opening, but in tier 2, guests can stay at hotels that have passed COVID hotel cleanliness hygiene standards. It’s also worth noting that though you are allowed to stay in hotels and BnB’s in tier 2, the rules still restrict staying overnight in homes with other households, which means that you’ll only be able to stay in a hotel with your core bubble or on your own.
Can I Eat At A Restaurant?
Under tier 2, restaurants must close by 11 pm. Hotel restaurants such as that of the Chilworth in Paddington, have started operating room service for their high-end cuisine and guests. If you eat at a restaurant, you must book in and most likely, book in advance due to limited, socially distanced tables. If you get up from your table, you must wear a mask when moving around the restaurant.
Can I Buy A Drink At A Bar?
Bars are allowed to stay open, as long as they also serve food there. If you’re visiting with one other household and are drinking within a group of 6, then you’re not breaking any laws. If you are visiting with more people, then you might be declined a table. Furthermore, bars will be operating a strict table service only rule.
Are Non-essential Shops Open?
Non-essential shops are allowed to open in tier 2 as long as they follow COVID rules and reduce the number of people inside the shop at any one time. You’ll also have to wear a face mask if visiting.
Are Museums And Event Spaces Open?
Whilst some will remain closed due to financial strain from the pandemic, other museums and event spaces have started to reopen post-lockdown. Things will be different though, museums such as the National Gallery only allow specific routes through their museum to ensure that crowds do not form.
Event spaces must close by 11 pm and be seated only. Tier 2 also means that there is a reduced capacity per show, maintaining the social distance between the seating of social bubbles. This has meant that not all event spaces feel it is financially viable to open their doors yet, and you’ll have to check on the status of individual venues yourself before planning a trip there.
Can I Use Public Transport?
Public transport is running regularly throughout tier 2 in London. However, it is advised that locals and visitors reduce the number of public journeys they take so as to reduce the risk of spreading COVID 19.
Can I Fly To The UK?
Flying to the UK from a country not on the red list of high COVID rate nations may fly to tier 1 or tier 2 parts of England. There are lists of travel corridors online which will show you the countries you may travel from to the UK. People visiting the country from those that are not in the UK travel corridor will have to quarantine for five days upon their arrival.
Can I Travel Abroad From The UK?
As mentioned, the travel corridor list of countries works both ways. If you’ve booked a flight from the UK, make sure to check that the status of either side has not changed since booking. Whilst some countries follow similar rules on quarantining to the UK, others may differ. Make sure to do your research before flying.
Can I Travel To London If My Home Is In A Higher Tier?
Travel from tier 3 or indeed, tier 4 counties and areas is restricted, as is travelling to those places from a lower-tier area.
What About A Lower Tier?
Travelling from London to an area designated as tier 2 or tier 1 is allowed under the current post-lockdown guidelines unless you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus and have been told you need to quarantine.
Can I Visit Friends Or Family In London?
Yes, but only outside and in groups of no more than six. You won’t be able to visit another household inside but can visit up to one other household when outside as long as you’re in a group of six. When visiting a pub or a restaurant, you can visit with up to one other household in a group of no more than six.