What are the latest coronavirus restrictions around the UK?

Large swathes of England face the toughest lockdown restrictions of the tier-based system from December 2, but different rules are in place across the four nations of the UK.

This is the current picture in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

– England

Much of the Midlands, North East and North West are in the most restrictive Tier 3, meaning a ban on households mixing, except in limited circumstances such as parks, while bars and restaurants will be limited to takeaway or delivery services and people will be advised to avoid travelling outside their area.

The majority of England will be in Tier 2 – including London and Liverpool – where the restrictions mean a ban on households mixing indoors, and pubs and restaurants only able to sell alcohol with a “substantial meal”.

Only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have been placed in the lowest Tier 1 set of restrictions.

– Northern Ireland

Many businesses across Northern Ireland were allowed to open for one week only following a circuit-breaker lockdown.

But from Friday, pubs, restaurants, non-essential retail and close contact services will close for two weeks to help curb the spread of the virus.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said the decision was “difficult but right”, while the hospitality sector is seeking assurances from Stormont that it can reopen on December 11.

– Wales

People in Wales are asked to stay out of each other’s homes, except in very limited circumstances, and to limit the times they leave their home, and the distance they travel.

A 17-day “firebreak” lockdown in Wales ended on November 9 and First Minister Mark Drakeford said that the restrictions had succeeded in bringing down national coronavirus rates.

Looking ahead to the festive period, Mr Drakeford said people should “think carefully” about who they meet and how far they travel over Christmas and use the temporary relaxation of restrictions “sensibly and responsibly”.

– Scotland

The toughest coronavirus restrictions in Scotland were imposed on 11 council areas last week.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that moving parts of west and central Scotland from Level 3 to Level 4 for three weeks was “unpalatable but necessary” as infections remained “stubbornly and worryingly high”.

The restrictions mean that non-essential shops, hospitality, gyms and beauty salons are among the businesses forced to close in these areas until December 11.

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