Information on Cookies

To make the best use of our website, you'll need to make sure your web browser is set to accept cookies to ensure you receive the best experience.

For further information, please read our Cookies Policy.

Log In

Go To News
DfT Update: Tiering and Christmas Travel Announcement Published Date: 29/11/2020

An announcement from the DfT’s External Affairs team:

As you will be aware, on Monday the Prime Minister announced details of the Government's COVID Winter Plan, including new regional restrictions in England. He confirmed the tiers will come into effect in England from 00:01 on Wednesday 2nd December and will be set at medium, high and very high. Until then, national restrictions remain in place. 

Please continue to refer to our safer travel guidance for passengers and operators. These have now been updated to reflect the new restrictions.

Christmas period

On Tuesday it was announced that, between 23 and 27 December, you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households. Full details can be found here.

You can travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble. If you need to travel you should note that transport routes may be busier than normal. You should plan your journey and check for disruption before you leave to help keep everyone safe when travelling for Christmas. You should also avoid making unnecessary stops during your journey and avoid sharing a car with people not in your household.

You should travel to meet those in your Christmas bubble and return home between the 23 and 27 December. Anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel on the 22 and 28 December.

End of national restrictions in England

Yesterday, the Health Secretary announced which regions will fall into which tier after national restrictions end at 00:01 on 2nd December. You can find the full breakdown of the split across England here.

On 2 December, across all of England, regardless of tier: 

  • The ‘stay at home’ requirement will end, with domestic and international travel being permitted again subject to guidance in each tier.
  • Shops, personal care, gyms and the wider leisure sector will reopen.
  • Collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume, subject to social distancing.
  • People will no longer be limited to seeing only one other person in outdoor public spaces - the rule of 6 will now apply as it did in the previous set of tiers.

You can view details of the local restriction tier system here, including what you can and cannot do in each tier.

Frequently Asked Questions

We welcome any questions you may have, and in the meantime please see below a series of FAQs which we hope will address initial queries.

Can I travel between different Local Restriction Tiers?

Yes, you can travel between tiers for essential journeys, such as work or school. If you are in Tier 3 you should not travel into or out of your area, and if you are in Tier 1 or Tier 2, you should avoid travelling into Tier 3. 

Is international travel permitted?

If you are in a tier 3 area, the government guidance is that you should avoid travelling outside your area, including for overnight stays, other than where necessary, such as for work or education. Anyone planning to travel abroad should carefully check the situation in their destination country and what restrictions they will be subject to, as well as Foreign Office Travel Advice and the current Travel Corridor list. 

How will new restrictions be enforced? 

The restrictions are guidance, so while we are not legislating, we are asking people to follow this advice to help us respond to the virus. However, face coverings are still mandatory on public transport unless you are exempt. 

Safer Transport Assets for use

Once the new tiers come into effect next week, as the messages for the three tiers are similar to before national measures, we advise you continue to use our extranet materials which can be accessed here. We ask that you don’t deviate from the language in our guidance in any bespoke assets that you create.