Tier 2 restrictions include no indoor household mixing except support bubbles and the rule of six for gatherings outdoors. Childcare bubbles can continue and schools, colleges and universities will remain open. Only hospitality venues that will operate as restaurants can open with orders taken until 10pm and doors closing by 11pm, and alcohol can only be served with substantial meals.
Those who can work from home should continue to do so. Retail, gyms, personal care and accommodation will be able to open with covid-secure measures in place.
Places of worship will open but you should not interact with anyone outside of our household or support bubble. Weddings can proceed with 15 guests, and 30 guests are able to attend funerals.
Sport and live performances can host a maximum of 50 per cent of capacity or 2,000 people outdoors and 1,000 indoors, whichever is lower.
At one stage when the local case numbers were growing rapidly, I feared North Yorkshire might even be in the top tier. So, I am a bit relieved that we have been able to avoid the toughest restrictions that come with Tier 3. We have been able to do so because case levels are falling, and quite quickly too.
But we must not forget that this continues to be a difficult time for most business, and particularly the hospitality industry. There remains support for those businesses that are unable to open, as well as charities, arts organisations and community groups. I urge them to take advantage of all the support available.
As we are able to resume some economic activity, now is a good time to remember the local businesses that we all value so much.
We all wish to see our family and friends in the run up to Christmas, and whilst people can gather according to the rule of six outdoors, people must continue to socially distance, wash hands, wear face masks and make space.
I know that the government will be reviewing the tiers fortnightly and I very much hope that in two weeks Harrogate can move down to Tier 1.