The three tier system explained! - British Florist Association

The three tier system explained!

And.. are you entitled to grants?

The Chancellor announced, on 22nd October, new measures have been put in place for those businesses struggling with the new three-tier Covid alert system in place. The BFA know that some areas are hit harder than others and we have put together the most important points that may relate to you. Below are bullet points relating to business and info on what the Tier 1, 2 and 3 really means are included too.

Please check what your Local Authority for ‘Tier ‘ updates and Grants available.

To check whether the restrictions apply to your area the government offer a Postcode checker and NHS Covid-19 app.

The Support…..

In recognition of the challenging times ahead, the Chancellor said he would be increasing support through the existing Job Support and self-employed schemes, and expanding business grants to support companies in high-alert level areas.

This builds on agreements reached with Local Authorities moving to Alert Level very high, with extra support for businesses, jobs and the economic recovery.

Job Support Scheme (JSS)

When originally announced, the JSS – which will come into effect on 1 November – saw employers paying a third of their employees’ wages for hours not worked, and required employers to be working 33% of their normal hours.

Today’s announcement reduces the employer contribution to those unworked hours to just 5%, and reduces the minimum hours requirements to 20%, so those working just one day a week will be eligible. That means that if someone was being paid £587 for their unworked hours, the government would be contributing £543 and their employer only £44.

Employers will continue to receive the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus. The Job Support Scheme Closed for businesses legally required to close remains unchanged. Pop it in the diary and don’t forget to claim.

Self-employed grant

Today’s announcement increases the amount of profits covered by the two forthcoming self-employed grants from 20 per cent to 40 per cent, meaning the maximum grant will increase from £1,875 to £3,750.

Business Grants

The Governments are providing additional funding to allow Local Authorities (LAs) to support businesses in high-alert level areas which are not legally closed, but which are severely impacted by the restrictions on socialising.


  • Local Authorities will also receive a 5% top up amount to these implied grant amounts to cover other businesses that might be affected by the local restrictions, but which do not neatly fit into these categories.
  • It will be up to Local Authorities to determine which businesses are eligible for grant funding in their local areas, and what precise funding to allocate to each business.
  • Businesses in Very High alert level areas will qualify for greater support whether closed (up to £3,000/month) or open. In the latter case support is being provided through business support packages provided to Local Authorities as they move into the alert level. The government is working with local leaders to ensure the Alert Level very high packages are fair and transparent.

Job Support Scheme – open

  • The JSS starts to operate from 1 November and covers all Nations of the UK. For every hour not worked, the employee will be paid up to two-thirds of their usual salary.
  • The government will provide up to 61.67% of wages for hours not worked, up to £1541.75 per month (more than doubling the maximum payment of £697.92 under the previous rules). The cap is set above median earnings for employees in August at a reference salary of £3,125 per month.
  • Example: a typical full-time employee in the hospitality industry is paid an average of £1,100 per month. Under the Jobs Support Scheme for open businesses, they will still take home at least £807 a month. All the employer needs to pay is a total of £283 a month or just £70 a week; the government will pay the rest.
  • Employers using the scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) for each employee that meets the eligibility criteria of the JRB. This is worth £1,000 per employee. Taking JSS-Open and JRB together, an employer could receive over 95% of the total wage costs of their employees if they are retained until February.

To read more daily updates go to

The Three Tier System……

Designed to simplify the range of different COVID-19 restrictions already in place, the new 3-tier system sets out the information for local authorities, residents and workers about what to do and how to manage the outbreak in their area.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own devolved governments and separate health systems.

Local COVID Alert Levels Explained

Tier 1 – Medium

The restrictions and regulations are reviewed every 28 days.
The medium level will cover a significant part of England and includes the current national restrictions such as the “rule of six” and the 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants.

Rule of Six.
Businesses and venues can continue to operate but pubs and restaurants must ensure customers only consume food and drink while seated, and close between 10pm and 5am
Takeaway food can continue to be sold after 10pm if ordered by phone or online.
Trades people can continue to go into a household for work and are not counted as being part of a 6-person limit.
Advised to work from home if possible.
Schools and universities remain open.
Weddings and funerals can still go ahead with attendees restricted to 15 and 30 respectively
Tier 2 – High Alert

The alert level is reviewed every 14 days and the rules and regulations are reviewed every 28 days.
The “high” alert level will reflect many current local interventions, but there will now be consistency across the country.

Rules from Tier 1 apply (see above)
Prevents all mixing between households or support bubbles indoors.
Trades people can continue to go into a household for work.
The Rule of Six will apply in outdoor spaces, including private gardens.
Pubs and restaurants are to close at 10pm.
Tier 3 – Very High Alert

Areas should only be at this level for 28 days then a review should take place.
The most severe on the system, the “very high” alert level applies where transmission rates are causing the greatest concern and where the NHS could soon be under unbearable pressure without further restrictions.
This includes incidence and test positivity, including amongst older and more at-risk age groups, as well as the growth rate, hospital admissions and other factors.

The Rule of Six allowed in open public spaces like parks and beaches.
People will be advised not to travel in and out of these areas.
Ban on different households mixing, social mixing indoors and in private gardens.
Trades people can continue to go into a household for work.
Full lock-down with most non-essential businesses closed.
Schools remain open
Workplaces remain open.
Pubs and bars will be closed and can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant, which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.

A tighter set of measures for the Central Belt of Scotland, with a set of reinforcing actions for the rest of the Scottish nation can be found through this link. For more information on Scotland’s central lockdown measures go to

We regret that some information on this page is for England only as no response from other Government departments is forthcoming.

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