Pubs and restaurants in Burnley to remain closed as Tier 3 restrictions announced for town

Pubs and restaurants in Burnley are facing a bleak Christmas after Tier 3 restrictions were confirmed for the town.
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The UK exits its second lockdown next Wednesday, however, Burnley will find itself back in Tier 3 with the Covid infection rate failing to fall significantly enough.

Gyms, leisure centres, non-essential shops, sports pitches and hairdressers have all been given the green light to re-open, but there will be no such reprieve for the beleaguered hospitality sector.

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Under this new, tougher Tier 3, pubs and restaurants will remain closed, except for takeaway/delivery, there will be no household mixing indoors, indoor entertainment venues will be closed, and no household mixing outdoors will be allowed to take place in private gardens or hospitality venues.

Tier 3 restrictions have been confirmed for BurnleyTier 3 restrictions have been confirmed for Burnley
Tier 3 restrictions have been confirmed for Burnley

It also means that while those football clubs in the country in Tiers 1 and 2 will be allowed to welcome fans back to their grounds, the Clarets will have to continue the season behind closed doors.

Burnley, along with the whole of Lancashire, was placed in the previous Tier 3 on October 17th, just three days after being allocated Tier 2. Some 19 days later, England started its second nationwide lockdown.

It means the town has now been under tighter restrictions, compared to the rest of the country, in some form or another since the end of July, when a local lockdown was imposed.

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This prevented people meeting with those they did not live with inside a private home or garden, except where they had formed a support bubble. Residents were still able to go to pubs, restaurants and other leisure venues - but only with members of their own household.

Burnley's rolling seven-day rate of new Covid cases at this point was around 17 per 100,000 people. This led to a community testing site being set up in Centenary Way on Monday, August 10th, while the month-long Eat Out To Help Out scheme was running.

A new Covid testing facility opened in Centenary Way car park on October 26th, to replace the council-run one which ceased operations two weeks earlier. This centre remains open, but is only available for those with symptoms.

By mid-September, the weekly infection rate in Burnley had climbed to 113.6 per 100,000 people; one month later, it was up to 526. Now at the end of November, the weekly rate is hovering around the 300 mark.

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The allocation of tiers to each area will now be based on five criteria, including each area's case numbers, the R number (reproduction rate of coronavirus), and the current and projected local pressure on the NHS.

Government officials and scientists will be analysing the coronavirus rates - as well as taking into account how badly over 60s are affected, and how fast cases are rising and falling - but there will be no negotiation with local leaders this time

Tier allocations will be reviewed every 14 days, with the regional approach to be in place until March. Financial support will also be based on a standard rate per head.

What do the updated tiers mean?

In all three tiers, non-essential shops, gyms, leisure centres, swimming pools, sports pitches, hairdressers, beauty salons, synagogues, churches and mosques will be allowed to reopen.

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However, there will be different rules in place, depending on tier, especially when it comes to hospitality.

In Tier 2, only pubs serving substantial meals can serve alcohol, but in Tier 3, hospitality will close, except for delivery and takeaway.

In areas where pubs and restaurants are allowed to open, last orders will now be at 10pm, with drinkers allowed until 11pm to finish their drinks.

Indoor performances will also return in Tiers 1 and 2, but with reduced capacity in place.

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When it comes to meeting friends and family, a maximum of six people can meet indoors or outdoors in Tier 1. In Tier 2, there is no mixing of households indoors, and a maximum of six people can meet outdoors.

In Tier 3, household mixing is not allowed indoors, or in most outdoor places.

Exceptions to the above rules apply for support bubbles, which will change slightly from 2 December. Parents with babies under the age of one, or those who live with a child under 5 with a disability that needs continuous care, will be allowed to form a support bubble with another household.

The new tier rules in full

Tier 1 - Medium

Follow the rule of six if meeting indoors or outdoors

Pubs and restaurants to shut at 11pm

Minimising travel is encouraged and work from home where possible

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Limited numbers of people allowed at sporting events and live performances

Tier 2 - High

No household mixing indoors

Rule of 6 outdoors

Pubs and restaurants to shut at 11pm - alcohol only served as part of substantial meal

Limited numbers of people allowed at sporting events and live performances

Tier 3 - Very high

No household mixing indoors

No household mixing outdoors in private gardens or hospitality venues

Rule of 6 in outdoor public spaces, such as parks

Pubs and restaurants will be closed - except for takeaway/delivery

Indoor entertainment venues will be closed

Guidance against travelling in and out of the area

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