Local lockdowns and restrictions

Local lockdowns or restrictions apply to a particular local authority or local council area. Each country of the UK introduced its own set of restrictions to manage the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in local areas when the rates of infection began to increase after the summer of 2020.  


In England, a three-tier COVID Alert Level system was introduced on 14 October 2020 to help control the spread of coronavirus in local areas. This included Tier 1 (medium), Tier 2 (high) and Tier 3 (very high), with increasing restrictions depending on the alert level for the area. This system was replaced by national lockdown restrictions for England on 5 November 2020. 

Use “Tier” when referring to a specific COVID Alert Level category in England but use lower case “tier” when referring to multiple categories or in general use. 


In Wales, local restrictions were introduced in local authority areas with a high or rising number of cases to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. These local lockdowns were introduced from September 2020 for varying amounts of time depending on the local area. These measures were replaced with the firebreak restrictions on 23 October 2020, and these were then replaced with national restrictions on 9 November 2020. 

Use the phrase “local restrictions” when referring to local measures used in Wales. 


In Scotland, a five-tier COVID-19 local protection levels system was introduced on 2 November 2020. Local areas that were categorised as protection level 0 had the lowest levels of restrictions, while protection level 4 areas had the highest levels of restrictions.  

Use “protection level” in lower case when referring to categories of restrictions in Scotland. These protection levels are sometimes also referred to as “tiers” in lower case but try to be consistent. 

Northern Ireland 

In Northern Ireland, a national set of restrictions was introduced on 16 October 2020 for a period of four weeks. Prior to this, local restrictions were in place for certain areas. 

See Lockdown for information on the first national lockdown on 23 March 2020.