Which Covid tier am I in? UK postcode tiers checker

Ashley Kirk, Frank Hulley-Jones and Seán Clarke
·1 min read
<span>Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

From 2 December, England leaves its second national lockdown and returns to a modified system of tiered restrictions. There are three tiers, officially graded by “risk” but in fact also reflecting such considerations as the resilience of an area’s NHS. Even the least restrictive tier 1 maintains the rule that no more than six people should gather at once. The most restrictive tier 3 requires all pubs and restaurants to remain closed.

Meanwhile, Scotland has its own five-level tier system. Wales and Northern Ireland have national restrictions in place. Use our postcode search to find out what you can and can’t do based on where you live.

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How are the tiers decided?

The government says it considers the following five indicators in allocating local authorities to each tier: case detection rates in all age groups; case detection rates in the over-60s; the rate at which cases are rising or falling; the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken, known as positivity rate; and pressure on the NHS.

So even if a local authority has a relatively low case detection rate, it may be allocated to a higher tier if cases are high among the more vulnerable 60-plus group, or if its local hospitals are facing high occupancy – for instance if the hospitals themselves are in a worse-hit area.

The tiers are due to be reviewed every two weeks, with the first review on 16 December.