Driving in tier restrictions explained

Driver with face mask

Confused about driving under the government’s new tier system?

Not to worry, we’ve got the full breakdown of what you can and can’t do, to save you from breaking your local restrictions.

National lockdown lifted

England came out of a four-week national lockdown on 2nd December 2020, returning the country to a series of regional restrictions.

Under lockdown rules, drivers were told only to use their cars for essential journeys, such as food shopping, collecting medical supplies or for journeys to work or school.

Under the new system, drivers across the country will have to follow different rules depending on their region.

Here’s how it works:

Tier 1: Medium alert

In tier 1 areas travel is allowed for non-essential journeys within your region. You’re also allowed to travel to an area in a higher tier, though you’ll have to follow the rules for that tier while there. That said, you’re advised to avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas for non-essential reasons.

Tier 2: High alert

If you’re in tier 2 you can still travel to venues or amenities that are open, though only with members of your own household or support bubble. You should aim to limit the number of journeys you make and keep following tier 2 rules even when you travel to a tier 1 area. Travel to tier 3 only when essential, avoiding overnight stays. 

Tier 3: Very high alert

Regions placed in the highest tier must limit their journeys to only essential trips and must not travel with anyone outside their household or support bubble. Travel outside your area should be avoided to help stop the spread of coronavirus to regions with lower rates of infection. Occasions when you can travel outside a tier 3 area include for work, education, medical treatment, youth services or caring responsibilities. 

Visit the government website to find out which tier you are in.

Social distancing

While it’s difficult to socially distance in a car, there are a few guidelines you can follow to help minimise risk of transmission between you and your passengers.

These include:

  • Sharing transport with the same people on each journey
  • Minimising the size of the group you travel with
  • Opening windows for ventilation
  • Facing away from each other where possible
  • Sitting the maximum distance apart from each other in the car
  • Cleaning your car between journeys
  • Wearing face coverings

Looking for more tips on keeping your car sanitised? Here’s where the germs are hiding in your car…

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