THE government introduced a new three-tier local lockdown system yesterday.

The move, which was leaked last week, places all local authorities up and down the country into one of four Covid-risk tiers - medium, high and very high.

Both Basingstoke and Deane and Test Valley were placed at the lowest alert level, along with much of the country.

Only the Liverpool City region was placed in the highest tier, which sees the mixing of households banned and pubs and bars closed.

What do the new restrictions mean for Basingstoke and Andover?

The restrictions have not changed from last week, with the medium tier being the nationwide, general policies.

In areas classed as at medium risk from the virus, you must not socialise in groups larger than six, except where there is a legal exemption, and businesses and venues must operate to Covid-secure guidelines.

Pubs and bars must operate table service and must abide by the 10pm curfew, whilst they are allowed to continue serving food past 10pm through a delivery service, click and collect or drive-through.

Schools, universities and places of worship can remain open, whilst weddings and funerals are still able to go ahead, subject to laws on the number of guests.

Additionally, exercise classes and organised sport are allowed to go ahead outdoors, as well as indoors if the rule of six is followed.

What about working from home?

The current government guidance for areas in the medium tier is that you should "work from home where you can effectively do so".

They also say that people should continue to follow social distancing, and plan ahead for travel to avoid busy times or routes, whilst promoting walking and cycling where possible.

Additionally, residents must wear face coverings where it is mandated, such as in shops, bars and restaurants and taxis.

What are the current infection rates?

In Basingstoke and Deane, the infection rate has risen in the last seven days.

In the seven days up to October 9, the rate stood at 37.9, up from 21 the previous week.

It is measured in cases per 100,000 of the population.

The infection rate is slightly higher in Test Valley.

The rate there is 62.6, up from 42 the previous week.