Verwood and Dorset set for tier 3 restrictions

Following the Secretary of State’s announcement, Dorset Council will be moving to tier 3 from Thursday 31 December.

Meanwhile, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, along with the New Forest, will go to even tougher tier 4 restrictions.

Tier 3 restrictions and guidance must be followed from midnight tonight (Wednesday) in a bid to reduce the spread of the virus and protect vulnerable people.

In tier 3, people must not mix indoors or outdoors in hospitality venues or private gardens, the rule of six applies in outdoor public spaces.

Restaurants, cafes and bars must also close and can only provide a take-away service.

Here are all the rules for tier 3:

  • You can’t mix indoors, in private gardens or in most outdoor venues, except with your household or bubble
  • You can meet in a group of up to six in other outdoor spaces, such as parks, beaches or countryside
  • Shops, gyms and personal care services (such as hairdressing) can stay open, as can swimming pools
  • Bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants must stay closed, except for delivery and takeaway
  • Collective worship can take place – with no mixing outside your bubble
  • Small wedding ceremonies can take place, but not receptions
  • Sports fans cannot attend events in stadiums
  • Indoor entertainment venues – such as bowling alleys and cinemas – must stay closed
  • People are advised not to travel to and from tier three areas


Sam Crowe, Director of Public Health for Dorset and BCP Councils said: “The number of positive cases of Covid-19 across the Dorset Council area has risen rapidly over the last week. Tier 2 measures are not enough to stop the virus spreading.

“Our infection rates have risen in people over the age of 60 which is putting increased pressure on already stretched NHS services. Making sacrifices now means we could prevent an even larger spike in January.

“It is essential, now more than ever that everyone follows the rules for Tier 3 to help drive infections down. Until the vaccine is rolled out wider, we must do all we can to supress the virus by staying at home as much as possible. Remember; hands, face, space and ventilating your home are simple measures we can all do that will make a difference.”

Cllr Spencer Flower, Leader of Dorset Council added: “With case numbers rising rapidly, further action now will help to contain the spread of the virus here in Dorset. I’m afraid there’s no room for complacency here, we all need to continue to play our part to protect people’s lives and our NHS.

“As ever, I’d like to thank people for all they are doing as a very difficult and unprecedented year draws to a close. I know moving into Tier 3 will be hard for many residents and local businesses but, with the vaccine now being rolled out, I sincerely hope it won’t be too long before we can return to some form of normality.”

As a reminder, here are the rules for tier 4, which will include Ringwood, Fordingbridge and the BCP Council area:

  • Residents should stay at home, unless they have a “reasonable excuse” such as work or education
  • All non-essential shops must close
  • Hairdressers and nail bars must close
  • Indoor entertainment venues must close
  • Gyms and indoor swimming pools, indoor sports courts and dance studios must close
  • You cannot meet other people indoors, unless you live with them or they are part of your support bubble
  • People should not leave tier four areas or travel abroad, except for limited reasons (including work and education)
  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are only allowed in exceptional circumstances
  • “Clinically extremely vulnerable” people in tier four areas are advised to stay at home “as much as possible”. The government says if they can’t work from home, they shouldn’t go to work.

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