Covid tier changes for Swindon & Wiltshire

By Anita Jaynes on 31 December, 2020

Swindon and Wiltshire moved into new tiers today following a government review of the latest covid evidence and statistics.

Swindon has been escalated to Tier 4 and Wiltshire has moved to Tier 3.

Here is a summary of the government’s Tier 3 and Tier 4 guidance.

Tier 4 – ‘Stay Home’ Alert level. Applicable to Swindon from 00:01 on 31st December 2020.

Meeting others safely

You should minimise time spent outside your home and must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble.

You can exercise or visit a public outdoor place:

  • by yourself
  • with the people you live with
  • with your support bubble
  • or, when on your own, with one person from another household

-Children under five, and up to two carers for a person with a disability, who needs continuous care are not counted towards the outdoors gatherings limit.

-You cannot meet people in a private garden, unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them.

Businesses and hospitality

To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and restrictions are in place on certain goods and services. The businesses required to close include:
  • non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores – venues can continue to operate click-and-collect and delivery services.
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes.
  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery.
  • accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where it is essential to stay there for work purposes.
  • leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and indoor gyms.
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries.
  • indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open.


You should not leave your Tier 4 area, other than for legally permitted reasons such as:

  • travelling to work where you cannot work from home
  • travelling to education settings and for caring responsibilities
  • visiting or staying overnight with people in your support bubble, or your childcare bubble for childcare purposes
  • attending hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits 
  • providing emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm (such as domestic abuse)

To see the full Tier 4 guidance click here.

Tier 3 – ‘Very High Alert’ level. Applicable to Wiltshire from 00:01 on 31st December 2020.

Meeting others safely indoors

You must not meet socially indoors with anybody you do not:

Unless a legal exemption applies.

‘Indoors’ means any indoor setting, including:

  • private homes
  • other indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants

Meeting others safely outdoors

You must not meet socially (in a private garden or at most outdoor public venues), with anybody you do not:

Unless a legal exemption applies.

However, you can see friends and family you do not live with (or do not have a support bubble with) in some outdoor public places, in a group of up to 6. This limit of 6 includes children of any age.

These outdoor public places include:

  • parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
  • public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
  • allotments
  • the grounds of a heritage site
  • outdoor sports courts and facilities
  • playgrounds

You can continue to meet in a group larger than 6 if you are all from the same household or support bubble, or another legal exemption applies.

Businesses and hospitality

Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha bars), pubs, cafes, restaurants, and social clubs must close except for takeaway, delivery and click and collect services. This includes restaurants and bars within hotels or member’s clubs.

Exemptions apply for the following settings:

  • Businesses and venues selling alcohol for consumption off the premises can continue to do so as long as this is through takeaway, delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.
  • Food or alcohol purchased from a hospitality premises via takeaway or click-and-collect may not be consumed on any part of that premises.
  • Council services such as libraries, outdoor markets and household recycling centres can remain open.
  • Leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead.

To see the full Tier 3 guidance click here.