The government has announced that Devon, including Torbay, will move up to Tier 3 of the local COVID restrictions. Tier 3 measures are being introduced to reduce non-essential contact between households and to avoid our local NHS services coming under unsustainable pressure.

All areas of England currently in Tier 2 are to move to Tier 3. New rules and guidance to help control the spread of COVID-19 will be introduced from 00.01 tomorrow (31 December) which include new rules for the Bay’s hospitality venues, leisure activity and accommodation.

Briefly, in Tier 3:

  • All hospitality is closed with the exception of sales by take-away, drive-through or delivery
  • Indoor leisure is open but with no group activities or classes
  • Accommodation is closed (with limited exceptions)
  • Avoid travel outside our local areas, unless necessary for work or education
  • Rules on no mixing of households indoors (apart from support bubbles) and groups of a maximum of six outdoors continue to apply
  • We are awaiting government guidance on schools and colleges returning from the Christmas break

Further information on Tier 3 restrictions can be found on the government website Tier 3: Very High alert - GOV.UK (

Councillor Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said: “I recognise it is disheartening for all of us to move to even higher restrictions, but these measures are not taken lightly and it is essential we all follow the new rules and do everything we can to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the Bay.

“Cases have risen again across Torbay and, with the threat of a new faster spreading strain of the virus, we must take action now. Back in November we reduced the number of cases and I urge everyone to double their efforts so that we can do that again.”

Councillor Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “With our businesses already struggling to keep going this year I know this announcement - particularly for our hospitality sector - is devastating, but it is unavoidable. We have a team in place processing funding applications from businesses and I encourage businesses that haven’t applied previously to do so. If you have previously applied under Lockdown measures you do not need to do so again.”

Information on support for businesses can be found on our website Business and tourism - Torbay Council.

Everyone in the Bay can help to control the spread of COVID-19 by observing restrictions and following the key guidelines:

  • Make space and stay 2m away from people you do not live with.
  • Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
  • Cover your face in enclosed spaces.
  • Isolate when you need to/are advised to, and get a test if you have symptoms.

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