tier 3 relationships

What Tier 3 restrictions mean for those in relationships at university

Restrictions put in place due to coronavirus have caused disruptions to everyone’s lives, but couples are one group of people seemingly left in limbo – so, what do restrictions in Tier 2 and Tier 3 mean for couples?

At Tier 1 – medium alert level – those in relationships seemingly have a greater level of freedom.

The Government says that anyone in an “established relationship” does not need to follow social distancing guidelines – allowing for couples to meet face-to-face and enjoy overnight stays.

Anyone in a relationship in Tier 2 and Tier 3, however, are under much greater restriction.

Rules for relationships in Tier 2

Can I go on a date?

In Tier 2, only socialising outdoors with people outside your household or support bubble is allowed.

This means that couples can go on dates permitting they stay outside the entire time – they must also maintain social distancing throughout.

Example dates could be, therefore, a walk in the park or a trip to a pub garden.

Similarly to Tier 1, pubs and restaurants can stay open but must close at 10pm.

Can I stay over at someone’s home?

Tier 2 rules state that it is illegal to socialise with anyone outside your household or support bubble – this includes staying over if they are not in your support bubble.

There is no exceptions to this rule for those fortunate enough to be in an “established relationship”.

Is sex illegal?

People currently living in Tier 2 are not permitted, by law, to have sex with anyone who is not part of their household or support bubble.

You can find out which tier you currently live in by using the postcode checker here.

All of Nottinghamshire is currently in Tier 3 (Very High Alert).

Rules for relationships in Tier 3

Can I go on a date?

In Tier 3, socialising with anyone you do not live with or have not formed a support bubble with – in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events – is not permitted.

Pubs and bars are also mandated to close and can only operate if they serve substantial meals. This includes, for example, restaurants or pubs which offer a lunchtime or evening meal – alcoholic can only be served as part of a meal.

Socialising with people you do not live with, or have not formed a support bubble with, is allowed so long as social distancing is maintained and you meet in certain outdoor public spaces.

For example, dates permitted under Tier 3 restrictions include trips to the park, beaches, areas of countryside, forests, public gardens, allotments, outdoor sports courts and facilities, and playgrounds.

Am I allowed to stay over at someone’s home?

Again, it is illegal to meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they are part of your household/support bubble.

This means you can only stay overnight at another person’s house, in Tier 3, if they are part of your support bubble.

Is sex illegal?

Similar to Tier 2, it is illegal to have sex with someone outside your household or support bubble.

You can find out which tier you currently live in by using the postcode checker here.

All of Nottinghamshire is currently in Tier 3 (Very High Alert).

Rules for long-distance relationships

There is no direct mention of this scenario in the Government’s guidance; however, they do discuss travelling between different areas.

If your partner lives in another medium alert level area, then you are allowed to travel between the two – although this should be done using private transport – such as a bike, car or motorbike – where possible.

People travelling to or from a high alert level area are instructed to “reduce the number of journeys you make”. Travel to venues or amenities that are open, for work or to access education is allowed.

At Tier 3, however, the Government advice is to “avoid travelling outside the very high alert level area you are in or entering a very high alert level area”.

Exceptions to this include work, education or youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if you are travelling through as part of a longer journey.

By Matt Lee

Lead Image: Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

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