FROM Wednesday, December 2, the whole of Surrey and Hampshire (excluding the Isle of Wight) will be placed into tier 2, the ’High’ local Covid-19 alert level.

The High alert level is for areas with a higher level of infections and means some additional restrictions will be necessary to slow the spread of the virus.

This means that if you live in Surrey and Hampshire you must not mix with people who don’t live in your house (or aren’t in your support bubble) in any indoor setting.

The ‘rule of six’ – mixing in groups of no more than six people in total – will apply outside, including in private gardens and public spaces.

Businesses can continue to operate in a Covid-secure way, but pubs and bars must close, unless they are operating as restaurants and serving substantial meals.

This is in addition to guidelines in place on wearing face coverings, social distancing, and working from home when possible. If you can’t work from home you should walk or cycle where possible, or try to avoid busy times on public transport.

Tim Oliver, leader of Surrey County Council said: “I know that this is not the news that some of us wanted to hear after four weeks of national restrictions but I do want to thank all our residents for their patience and continued commitment in following the public health guidance – it has had an impact – and on the whole their actions have kept cases down across the county.

“The coming weeks and months will continue to be a challenge to us all, but we cannot be complacent and must continue to do all we can to reduce the spread of this virus.”

Tier 2 restrictions in full:

* No indoor household mixing apart from support bubbles

* Rule of six outdoors

* Work from home if you can

* Pubs and restaurants can only serve booze with “substantial meals”

* Last orders 10pm with final curfew at 11pm

* All retail open

* All education open

* Indoor leisure open

* Outdoor sports allowed

* Entertainment open

* Personal care services open

* Overnight stays only with your own household or support bubble

* 15 guests permitted at weddings/civil partnerships

* 30 at funerals

* Places of worship open

* Don’t travel to Tier 3 unless necessary

* Outdoor sports and live performances can have 2,000 spectators or 50 per cent capacity (whichever is lower). The limit is 1,000 indoors.