During an appearance in the House of Commons, the health secretary said the country will return to a tiered approach from next week, in a bid to control the virus where cases are highest and retain “greater freedom” in areas where cases are lowest.
“We must make the tiers tougher than they were before, to protect the NHS through the winter and avert another national lockdown,” he said.
Read more: What are tier 1 lockdown rules?
“Without sensible precautions, we would risk the virus escalating into a winter or new year surge,” he said. “While the previous tiers did cut the R-number they were not quite enough to cut it below one.”
London, York, and Suffolk are among the areas that have been placed in tier 2.
You can find out which alert level your area falls under using the postcode search available on the government website. The NHS Covid 19 app will also be updated and show which local alert level applies in which area.
Here’s everything you need to know about what you can and cannot do in tier 2.
Are pubs and restaurants allowed to open?
Pubs and bars in tier 2 must close, unless operating as restaurants, while hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals.
Hospitality businesses that sell food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to provide table service only, stop taking orders at 10pm and close at 11pm.
However, any establishments selling food for consumption off the premises, can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.
Can I meet friends and family in the pub?
In tier 2, otherwise referred to as the “high” alert level, people must not socialise with anyone they do not live with or who is not in their support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
People are also not permitted to socialise in a group of more than six people outside, including in a garden or a public space.
Can weddings and funerals take place?
In tier 2, wedding ceremonies and receptions can still go ahead but there must be no more than 15 guests.
Similarly, funerals can still take place with no more than 30 guests.
Places of worship remain open but people must not socialise with others from outside of their household or support bubble while they are indoors there.
Am I allowed to travel?
People in tier 2 areas can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible.
If you are using public transport, be sure to wear a face covering.
Read more: When does lockdown end in England?
Should I work from home?
People across all tiers that can work remotely are being advised to do so.
However, people who work in essential services, such as education, should continue to go into work where necessary.
Anyone else who cannot work from home is permitted to travel to their place of work.
You can read more about the three alert levels on the government website here.