THE government announced this morning that Basingstoke, along with the rest of Hampshire, will be placed into Tier 2 restrictions next week, when the current lockdown period comes to an end. 

This medium alert tier means a tougher level of restrictions for people in the borough than before lockdown. But, with Christmas just around the corner, many will be wondering what they CAN do in the month of December. 

Pubs and bars are sadly required to remain closed for the time being - unless they are operating as restaurants. 

And alcohol may ONLY be served with a “substantial meal.”

It means many in the industry will face the tough decision of whether, without the after-work drinkers, sports bar enthusiasts, and late evening ‘we’ll just stop in for one’ festive punters, it’s worth opening their doors at all.

Those without kitchen facilities are likely to have that choice taken out of their hands.

The previous 10pm curfew, however, has been extended. With last orders now at 10pm, and venues required to close from 11pm until at least 5am. 

However, Tier 2 means that socialising indoors in Basingstoke must also stay strictly within households and social bubbles.

So while you can visit a restaurant for a meal with the family or friends you live with, group trips to the pub will have to stay on hold for now.

Outdoors, household mixing will be permitted in line with the Rule of Six (maximum of six people).

However, the government has confirmed that it will be reviewing the measures on December 16 - and Basingstoke is in a good position to achieve being lowered to Tier 1 in time for Christmas, with a rolling weekly average as of November 20 which is significantly below the England-wide average.

Elsewhere in the hospitality and leisure sector, retail, leisure and personal care services are able to reopen, but organised sport between more than one household must remain outdoors for now.

Weddings and civil partnerships will be allowed 15 guests in attendance, while places of worship can also open back up.

Here is the full list of new Tier 2 rules, as of December 3:

  • No mixing of households indoors apart from support bubbles will be allowed
  • A maximum of six people can meet outdoors.
  • Pubs and bars will remain closed unless operating as restaurants,
  • Alcohol will only be served as part of a “substantial meal” until 10pm, before venues must close at 11pm.
  • All retail, leisure and personal care services are able to reopen.
  • Overnight stays will only be permitted for those in the same household or support bubble
  • Places of worship can reopen, but people must not interact with anyone outside their household or support bubble.
  • Fifteen guests will be allowed at weddings and civil partnerships, increasing to 30 for funerals.
  • Classes and organised sport can take place outdoors but not indoors if there is any interaction between two different households.
  • Large events including sport and live performances will be open to the public but limited to 50% capacity or 2,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors.