NEW lockdown restrictions for the North-East and North Yorkshire have officially come into force today - with major changes to who you can meet.

The Government's "three-tier" lockdown system has replaced several local and national restrictions across the whole of England.

Designed to "simplify" lockdown rules, three tiers ranging from Medium to Very High now apply to every part of the country.

The entire North-East region has been placed into Tier 2 with a local covid alert level of High.

Meanwhile, the North Yorkshire region has been placed into Tier 1 restrictions with a local covid alert level of Medium.

But what exactly has changed?

We've looked at official Government guidance and put together what you can and cannot do under these new restrictions.

Who's affected?

Previously, nine parts of the North-East were under a local lockdown which banned the mixing of households in all indoor settings, in private homes and in gardens.

County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Sunderland, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough faced these restrictions.

Households in Darlington, Stockton and Redcar and Cleveland were not included and instead had to adhere to the 'rule of six' and maintain social distancing.

But the rules have changed and they NOW apply to every council area in the North-East.

Household rules for North Yorkshire remain largely unaffected as it remains in Tier 1.

Meeting people from other households

The rules on meeting with family and friends in 'any' indoor settings including in pubs and restaurants continue to apply, unless in a support bubble.

But you CAN now meet up with family and friends, who you do not live with, outside, including in a garden or 'other outdoor space'.

But you must continue to adhere to the rule of six and limit group numbers and continue social distancing with members outside your household.

Rules for pubs and restaurants in the North-East

Under Tier 2 and Tier 1, pubs and restaurants will be allowed to remain open as long as they continue to offer table-service only and call last orders in time for 10pm.

Staff and customers will continue to require the wearing of face coverings while moving around the premises. 

Businesses and venues that fail to comply with Covid restrictions face fines of up to £10,000, prosecution, or in some cases closure.

Rules on childcare 

The rules on childcare have been rolled over to the new restrictions with certain people allowed to provide childcare support in private homes and gardens.

These are registered childcare providers, including nannies, people in your support bubble and 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.

Rules for students in school, college and university

Schools remain open under the Government's new restrictions but latest rules confirm students at university will not be able to move between addresses.

As these new sets of rules were unveiled on Monday, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said schools would remain unaffected by restrictions no matter what tier applied.

The guidance states that students living in their term time accommodation in a High alert level area will not be allowed to move between their permanent address.

Can I visit relatives in a care home?

Currently those in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cannot visit their relatives in care home settings except for circumstances including those visiting people who are at the end of their life.

What about weddings, civil partnerships and funerals?

The guidance states that people can attend places of worship for a service if you’re in a high alert level area.

However, you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble (in North Yorkshire, the rule of six applies). 

Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions must only take place in COVID-secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and wedding receptions are restricted to 15 people.

Receptions should be sit down meals to ensure people can keep their distance from each other, and mustn’t take place in private dwellings.

Funerals must only take place in COVID-secure venues or in public outdoor spaces with up to 30 people in attendance. 

People living outside of a high alert level area can travel to this area to attend an event, but they must not meet with another household indoors.