The Tier 3 restrictions that came into effect today for Greater Manchester

Date published: 23 October 2020

Greater Manchester, including Heywood, Rochdale and Middleton, is now under Tier 3 (very high alert level) Covid restrictions.

What does this mean for residents in these areas?

Meeting family and friends

Any social gathering with family or friends from another household is banned in any indoor setting, including pubs, restaurants, private homes and certain outdoor settings including gardens and pub beer gardens.

You can still visit and see people in your support bubble if you have formed one – this is where a household with only one adult can join up with another household, as if they were members of the same household, allowing you to visit each other, stay overnight, and visit places together.

You can still meet family and friends from outside your support bubble in parks, countryside settings, public gardens, outdoor sports facilities and playgrounds as long as you remain in groups of no more than six people (including children).

Meeting in larger groups is against the law. The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).

If the police find you to have broken these guidelines, they can issue fines of £200, and up to £6,400 for further offences.

For gatherings of 30 or more, fines of £10,000 can be issued.

There are exceptions to these regulations for meeting people from outside your household/support bubble which include:

  • for work, volunteering to provide voluntary or charitable services
  • for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians
  • to provide emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness
  • to escape a risk of harm
  • to provide care or assistance to someone vulnerable


Visiting pubs and restaurants

You cannot visit pubs or restaurants (indoors or outdoors) with those outside your household or support bubble.

When you visit these venues, at least one member of your group must give their contact details to the venue or check in using the official NHS Covid-19 Test and Trace app.


Tier Three - Very High Alert Level


Which businesses have to close

Businesses that sell food and drink must close between 10pm and 5am, however they can still sell food and drink between these hours via delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.

Motorway service stations can serve after 10pm, provided that they do not serve alcohol at this time.

Betting shops, casinos and adult gaming centres and soft play centres must all close.

Businesses that are permitted to remain open must adhere to strict Covid secure guidelines, making sure they wear masks and face coverings, ensuring customers use Test and Trace and do not mix social bubbles, and that staff who exhibit coronavirus symptoms self-isolate.

Any businesses found to have broken these guidelines can be fined £10,000 or face prosecution or closure.



Childcare bubbles can be formed, wherever there is an adult who provides unpaid or unregistered childcare to anyone under the age of 13, including nannies and childminders.

Those outside your childcare or support bubble are not permitted to visit your household for purposes of childcare.



Traveling outside Greater Manchester

You can continue to travel in or out of very high risk areas, provided this is purely to venues or amenities necessary for work or education, however you are asked to minimise the number of journeys you make.

Where possible, people are being advised to either walk or cycle and avoid busy times on public transport, so you can adhere to social distancing guidance.

Rules to wear masks and face coverings while on public transport remain in place.


Sports and exercise classes

Indoor and outdoor sports are permitted to take place with any number of participants, so long as correct social distancing is adhered to, and that no social mixing takes place before or after between households or support bubbles.

For disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised physical activity for those under 18, there are exceptions.


Weddings, civil partnerships, religious service or funerals

You can attend places of worship for a service if you’re in a very high alert level area. However, you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. 

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and wakes can take place with a maximum of 15 people in Covid secure venues or public outdoor settings but receptions are banned.

Funerals are also allowed to take place in Covid secure venues or public outdoor settings, but are limited to thirty people.

Wakes or linked ceremonial events before or after the funeral are limited to 15 people and must not take place in private homes. If food is being served it must be eaten sitting down to maintain social distancing.

Anyone working at a wedding, civil partnership ceremony, wake or funeral is not generally counted as part of the limit.

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