A new three-tier system of local lockdown measures for England has been announced to try to curb rising COVID-19 rates.
The move, planned to come into force on Wednesday 14th October 2020, is aimed at simplifying the range of different COVID-19 restrictions that were already in place across various parts of England.
The Local COVID Alert Levels - "medium", "high" and "very high" - will be implemented depending on local infection rates. The government has released a full list of areas and which tier they fall under.
What are the rules for the different tiers?
Tier 1 - Medium
10pm curfew for bars, pubs and restaurants
Gatherings of more than six people banned, apart from some settings such as funerals and weddings
Tier 2 - High
Mixing of households indoors not allowed
Two households can meet in a private garden - rule of six and social distancing rules apply
Pubs and restaurants remain open, but no mixing of households inside and 10pm curfew
Tier 3 - Very high
No mixing of households indoors and outdoors, including in private gardens
Pubs and bars to close
Restaurants, and pubs that can operate as restaurants, allowed to stay open
Local politicians will decide if gyms, betting shops, casinos, hairdressers and beauty salons should close
Non-essential shops, schools and universities to remain open
Avoid non-essential travel
Travel outside area advised against
Status in Essex is currently.... Tier 1 - Medium
#COVID19 cases in Essex are now increasing rapidly. To combat the sharp increase and flatten the curve of infection before it puts strain on our hospitals and economy, Essex leaders have asked that the County moves into the new ‘Tier 2 - High Level’ restrictions as soon as practicable.