Can I travel from Portsmouth to London? Tier 1 rules and restrictions on travel explained - and if you can visit Tier 2 areas
Portsmouth has been categorised as an area on ‘medium’ alert, with residents subject to the national lockdown restrictions
Recently introduced local lockdown restrictions in England have seen the country divided into a new three-tier local lockdown system, based on current Covid-19 infection rates.
Areas have been categorised as ‘medium’ (Tier 1), ‘high’ (Tier 2) and ‘very high’ (Tier 3) in accordance with the number of Covid-19 cases, with those in the highest tier facing the toughest restrictions.
The new system has introduced stricter limits on social gatherings and household mixing, while pubs and bars in Tier 3 have been forced to close, unless they can operate as a restaurant.
But what do the rules say about travelling from a low risk area to one on high or very high alert? Here’s what you need to know.
Can I travel from Portsmouth to London?
At present, Portsmouth has been categorised as an area on ‘medium’ alert, based on the assessment of local Covid infection rates.
Areas within this alert level (Tier 1) have the least restrictive rules in place, with residents required to continue following the national restrictions, including the rule of six and the 10pm curfew.
People in this tier can continue to travel and go on holiday outside of their local area, including to areas in Tier 2, but this should be within the limitations of the rule of six.
As such, this means that people in Portsmouth can still travel to London, which is currently under Tier 2 restrictions.
However, the government is urging everyone who lives in a Tier 1 or Tier 2 area to avoid travelling to any part of the country that is subject to ‘very high’ local Covid alert levels (Tier 3), except for those who need to for work, education or caring responsibilities.
Advice also states that people should aim to walk or cycle where they can, and to avoid travelling with someone from outside of your household or support bubble, unless you can observe social distancing.
Additionally, when travelling, you should be mindful that local restrictions are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
You should not visit different parts of the UK where it is not permitted under legislation passed by the devolved administrations.
What are the rules for Tier 2 and 3?
Those who live in ‘high’ and ‘very high’ alert areas are subject to more limiting rules, including in regard to travel and holidays.
Rules for Tier 2
Government guidance states that those in high alert level areas (Tier 2) can continue to travel to hotels and other guest accommodation, but should only do so with people within their household or support bubble.
You can still go on holiday outside of high alert level areas, including to areas in Tier 1, but again, this should only be done so with people in your household or support bubble. You must not also stay with anyone you do not live with from a very high alert level area or visit their home.
There are currently only two regions in England that have been placed under very high alert, these being the Liverpool City Region and Lancashire.
Rules for Tier 3
The government advises that you do not travel into or out of an area if it has been categorised as a very high alert level area (Tier 3). This is part of wider measures put in place to help minimise the risk of transmission.
People are permitted to travel outside of an area on very high alert in some exceptional circumstances, such as for work, education, to access youth services, or for caring responsibilities.
You may also do so where necessary as part of a longer journey, such as when a journey between lower risk areas passes through a very high alert level area, or when travelling to an airport, port, or international rail terminal to travel abroad.
If you are travelling, you must only do so with members of your household or support bubble.
Residents in areas on very high alert are also urged to avoid overnight stays in other parts of the UK, unless it is for work, education or caring responsibilities. As such, this means you must not leave the area to stay in a second home, or to stay with anyone else who is not part of your household elsewhere in the UK, or to visit their home.
If you live in a very high alert level area, you may travel to hotels and guest accommodation within that area, but this must only be done with people in your household or support bubble.
There is no ban on foreign travel, but if you are considering travelling internationally, you should look at the rules in place at your destination, the latest Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice and the current travel corridor list.