As Herefordshire becomes the only county to move down to tier 1, what does this mean for locals... and visitors?
The rural and sparsely populated county of Herefordshire appears to be bucking the trend and beating coronavirus, while the rest of Great Britain faces higher infection rates and harsher restrictions.
Joining only Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Scilly isles in tier one, residents of Herefordshire can now meet six other people indoors or outdoors, including in bars and restaurants where it is table service and last orders at 10pm. Overnight stays are now also allowed both in other people’s homes and in hotels and bed and breakfasts.
Moving down a tier will offer a much needed boost to the struggling hospitality sector and could make Herefordshire a popular destination for breaks and days out. That said, if you live in an area with stricter rules, you may not necessarily be able to enjoy the same freedoms simply by crossing your nearest border.
After the firebreak lockdown, Mark Drakeford relaxed cross-border travel restriction rules, but like everything linked to Covid, it is not as straightforward as it sounds. Despite people in Wales being allowed to travel to other parts of England and Scotland with lower levels of coronavirus, the Welsh government ‘strongly’ advises against it. So strictly speaking it is legal to go for a meal or a day out in Herefordshire, but you will have to use your own judgement on whether you believe it is the responsible thing to do.
Meanwhile if you live in bordering Shropshire or Gloucestershire, which are both in tier two, you can also travel to Herefordshire, but once there, you must follow the rules that apply to your home county. In other words, you can dine in a restaurant, for instance, but only with someone from your own household, and you must consume a substantial meal.