Are shops, gyms, hairdressers and bookies open in tier 2? What’s open and closed explained


ENGLAND has entered a new coronavirus tier system this morning, but can shops, gyms, hairdressers and cafes stay open in Tier 2 areas?

The new, three-tier system, has classed individual regions across the country as either medium, high or very high risk.

Gyms are allowed to stay open in Tier 2 areas

Businesses that break the rules in their area can face fines of up to £10,000, prosecution or closure.

Under the new system, Tier 2 areas are classed as “high” risk, while Tier 1 places are “medium” risk.

Meanwhile, areas under Tier 3 restrictions – which are deemed “very high risk” – face the toughest lockdown measures.

But what does this mean for hairdressers, non-essential shops and cafes? We explain all you need to know:

Which areas are under tier two lockdown restrictions?

HOAR has a full list of every Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 area in England.

Below are the places in Tier 2 (high alert):

North West

  • Cumbria
  • Liverpool City Region
  • Warrington and Cheshire


  • York
  • North Yorkshire

West Midlands

  • Worcestershire
  • Herefordshire
  • Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin

East Midlands

  • Rutland
  • Northamptonshire

East of England

  • Suffolk
  • Hertfordshire
  • Cambridgeshire, including Peterborough
  • Norfolk
  • Essex, Thurrock and Southend on Sea
  • Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes


  • All 32 boroughs plus the City of London

South East

  • East Sussex
  • West Sussex
  • Brighton and Hove
  • Surrey
  • Reading
  • Wokingham
  • Bracknell Forest
  • Windsor and Maidenhead
  • West Berkshire
  • Hampshire (except the Isle of Wight), Portsmouth and Southampton
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Oxfordshire

South West

  • South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip and Sedgemoor
  • Bath and North East Somerset
  • Dorset
  • Bournemouth
  • Christchurch
  • Poole
  • Gloucestershire
  • Wiltshire and Swindon
  • Devon

Can hairdressers stay open in Tier 2 areas?

Yes, hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons can stay open in Tier 2 areas.

In previous lockdowns, they were forced to close – leaving Brits going months without a professional haircut.

Can non-essential shops stay open in Tier 2 areas?

Non-essential shops are allowed to stay open in the whole of England, regardless of the Tier.

It was a different story when England was placed into a full lockdown, when only essential shops such as supermarkets or hardware stores could have customers.

This means can now legally visit any of your favourite high street stores, but it’s worth checking websites first as many have changed their hours.

For instance, retailers including Primark, Aldi and Wilko all plan to extend their opening hours.

Can pubs, restaurants and cafes stay open in Tier Two areas?

Hospitality settings, such as bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants, and social clubs can open, but only if they serve food and can “operate as a restaurant”.

Alcohol can be provided on the premises alongside a substantial meal and only if table service is possible.

Pubgoers will only be able to dine with people they live with indoors, but can sit with people outside their household outside under the “rule of six“.

Takeaway booze is sill allowed, as is delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.

Alcohol purchased from a hospitality premises via takeaway or click-and-collect may not be consumed on any part of that premises, including beer gardens, as well as adjacent seating.

Hospitality venues must stop taking orders after 10pm and must close between 11pm and 5am.

Can gyms stay open in Tier 2 areas?

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools will be able to reopen in all three tiers, but there’ll be some restrictions.

In Tier 2 areas, indoor group classes can still take place but only if there is no interaction between people from different households.

You can do unlimited exercise outdoors or in gyms and other sports facilities.

Can cinemas, theatres and concert venues stay open in Tier 2?

Entertainment venues such as casinos, cinemas, museums, sporting venues and bowling alleys can all stay open, with some restrictions.

For instance, capacity will be restricted to whichever is lower: 50% or 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.

Many venues will also need to shut before 10pm, but cinemas, theatres, concert halls and sports stadia can stay open to conclude performances and events that started earlier in the day.

Alcohol can be ordered at a bar to be consumed when seated in an auditorium or area where a screening/performance is taking place. This will be limited to only those with tickets.

If alcohol is going to be consumed in the bar area itself, it must be part of a substantial meal and full table service must be provided.

What other businesses can stay open in Tier 2 areas?

The following businesses and places will also stay open in Tier 2 areas:

  • Supermarkets
  • Schools
  • Universities
  • Colleges
  • Casinos
  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Museums
  • Bowling alleys
  • Amusement arcades
  • Funfairs
  • Theme parks
  • Adventure parks and activities
  • Bingo halls

Boris Johnson has promised there is “hope” for all to escape their Tiers – and vowed to review them before Christmas.

It comes after it was insinuated that some of the restrictions could be in place for six months.

We explain the rules for going to the pub if you live in a Tier 2 area.