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Wiltshire confirmed to move to the COVID-19 Tier 3 'very high' category

Published 30 December 2020

The Wiltshire Council local authority area has been confirmed as moving up to the COVID-19 Tier 3 'very high' category from 00:01 tomorrow (31 December).

This means that from tomorrow, greater restrictions will be introduced. They include:

  • People must not socialise with anyone they do not live with or who is not in their support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • People must not meet socially in a private garden or most outdoor public venues with anybody they do not live with or do not have a support bubble with
  • People can see friends and family in a group of up to six (limit includes children of any age) in some outdoor spaces including parks, countryside, forest, public gardens, allotments, grounds of a heritage site, outdoor sports courts and facilities and playgrounds.
  • Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha bars), pubs, cafes, restaurants, and social clubs must close except for takeaway, delivery and click and collect services. This includes restaurants and bars within hotels or member's clubs.

Exemptions apply for the following settings:

  • Businesses and venues selling alcohol for consumption off the premises can continue to do so as long as this is through takeaway, delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • Food or alcohol purchased from a hospitality premises via takeaway or click-and-collect may not be consumed on any part of that premises
  • Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, holiday lets and guest houses must close.
  • People who can work from home, should
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees - 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events.
  • Council services such as libraries, outdoor markets and household recycling centres can remain open.
  • Leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. For Wiltshire all leisure centres will remain open for Wiltshire Council residents only at their advertised opening hours - this will include the gym and swimming pools however there will be no Group Exercise classes. At this time junior activities, including swimming lessons and gymnastics will continue as advertised in the New Year.
  • The Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre (opens new window) will remain open but for Wiltshire council residents only and those outside of Wiltshire for business and formal education purposes only. Wiltshire residents can visit for recreational use. Bookings need to be made in advance.

The following venues must also close:

  • indoor play centres and areas, including inflatable parks and soft play centres and areas (other than for people who have a disability)
  • trampolining parks (other than for elite athletes, people with a disability, supervised activities for children and for formal education or training purposes)
  • casinos
  • bingo halls
  • bowling alleys
  • indoor skating rinks (other than for elite athletes, professional dancers and choreographers, people with a disability, supervised activities for children and for formal education or training purposes)
  • amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
  • nightclubs and adult entertainment venues
  • laser quests and escape rooms
  • cinemas, theatres concert halls - other than drive-in events, broadcasting performances, training or rehearsal
  • circuses
  • snooker and pool halls (other than for elite athletes)
  • zoos, safari parks, and aquariums
  • other animal attractions including farms
  • water parks and aqua parks
  • model villages
  • museums, galleries and sculpture parks
  • botanical or other gardens, biomes or greenhouses
  • theme parks, fairgrounds and funfairs
  • adventure playgrounds and parks, including ziplining
  • visitor attractions at film studios,
  • heritage sites such as castles, stately homes or heritage railways
  • landmarks including observation wheels and viewing platforms

The following outdoor venues can remain open:

  • outdoor tourism and entertainment venues can remain open subject to following the relevant rules and guidelines
  • outdoor cinemas, theatres and concert venues can remain open for drive-in only, but must close at 11pm, other than for the purposes of concluding a performance which began before 10pm
  • outdoor events, such as funfairs can continue to happen in line with COVID-secure guidance - other than large outdoor performance events (performances, shows and screenings), which must be drive-in only
  • retail premises may open, other than shops situated inside closed premises that cannot be accessed directly from the street - retail premises within accommodation may also stay open
  • personal care and close contact services such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas and beauty services, saunas, steam rooms, massage parlours and tanning salons can remain open
  • community centres and halls, and libraries can remain open. Group events should not take place, unless there's a specific legal exemption to the social contact rules e.g. support groups, supervised activities for children
  • recycling and waste centres, car parks, and public toilets may continue to stay open

More information on the Tier 3 restrictions can be found at GOV.UK: Guidance - Living safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19 (opens new window).

Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said: "We have seen a recent rise in COVID-19 cases so we all have to keep playing our part and support each other as much as possible.

"We of course don't want to see these types of restrictions in our county but they're in place for a very good reason, and I hope being in Tier 3 keeps more people safe. Our message to everyone is to please stay at home where possible and stay local.

"As we have done throughout the pandemic we will be here to support people and businesses as much as we're able to. People in Wiltshire have been so good at doing what is asked of them and we're in no doubt, as tough as it is at the moment, that they will keep going and continue to look out for one another."

For the latest information on COVID-19 and all the support available, and more information on the Tiers, visit You can also find out about the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub, which is in place to support people who have no network around them, and a directory of the community groups who are located throughout the county ready to provide support.

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