London alert level raised to high - what this means for you


Over recent weeks rates of COVID-19 infection rates have risen steadily across Barnet and more widely across London.

The COVID-19 alert level in London has been raised to high.

The COVID-19 alert level in London has been raised to high.

As a result, from 00:01 on Saturday 17 October, London will move from COVID alert level medium (Tier 1) to high (Tier 2). This level will be reviewed after a month. 

These new restrictions are essential to keep Barnet safe. By following them together we can all play our part in keeping ourselves, our families and communities safe, and ensure our local economy is protected as much as possible.

No social mixing

You must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any indoor setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them. This includes private homes, and any other indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants.

A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.

You may continue to see friends and family you do not live with (or have not formed a support bubble with) outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space. When you do so, you must not meet in a group of more than 6. This limit of 6 includes children of any age.

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.

You can be fined £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.

There are exceptions where people from different households can gather beyond 6 people, including for work, education and childcare. Details here.

Visiting other venues (including shops, restaurants, pubs and places of worship)

Venues following COVID-secure guidance can host more people in total, but no one must mix indoors with anyone who they do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) unless exemptions apply. Outdoors, you can meet in mixed groups of up to 6 people.

This includes in pubs and restaurants, shops, leisure and entertainment venues and places of worship.

At least one person in your group should give their contact details to the venue or check in using the official NHS COVID-19 app so NHS Test and Trace can contact you if needed.

Schools, universities and childcare will remain open and office workers who can effectively work from home should do so for the foreseeable future.

The following people can provide childcare support in private homes and gardens:

  • registered childcare providers, including nannies
  • people in your support bubble
  • people in your childcare bubble

A childcare bubble is where someone in one household provides informal (unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. For any given childcare bubble, this must always be between the same 2 households.

Businesses will remain open under existing guidelines.

Further information about the new restrictions is available here.

Hands face space

You must also keep following existing safety measures. Practising social distancing, good hand hygiene and adhering to government guidelines on the rule of six and wearing a face covering will make a real difference. As will self-isolating immediately if you display any symptoms of coronavirus and booking a test as soon as possible.

Please remember that if you have any of the main Covid-19 symptoms (below), you need to book a test here:

  • New, continuous cough
  • High temperature 
  • Loss of or change to sense of taste or smell.