THE NEW 'Tier Two' lockdown restrictions arrive in Sandwell today.

A new three-tier system to simplify local Covid restrictions for England was announced by Boris Johnson earlier this week in a bid to stop the rise of infections.

Sandwell - including Cradley Heath, Old Hill, Rowley Regis and Oldbury - has been placed in a 'high' Covid alert level - also known as Tier Two.

This means from today (Wednesday October 14) Sandwell residents are still not allowed to mix with any other households in their homes - inside or outside Sandwell borough.

However in an easing of restrictions two households CAN meet outdoors in a private garden, as long as the rule of six is followed.

Before Sandwell residents had not been allowed to meet in their homes OR gardens.

The High alert level (tier two) restrictions mean that the rule of six - a ban on most gatherings of more than six people and a 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants is still in place.

In a tightening of restrictions groups of six from different households now CANNOT meet in pubs and restaurants.

There is advice for people to minimise their journeys if they live in an area of 'high' alert.

Schools, universities, non-essential retail and places of worship remain open

Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees

Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors.

These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or for youth or disability sport.

Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.

Deputy Leader of Sandwell Council Councillor Maria Crompton said: “As we move into winter and we’re seeing infection rates rise across England, we’re thinking especially about our older people.

“As you know, older adults are much more vulnerable to serious illness and death if infected – and it’s crucial that older people avoid the virus. 

“This is something we call all help with, no matter what our age. 

“Younger people could bring the virus into their family and pass it on to someone older and more at risk.

“Our safety messages remain true and more important than ever – stay home as much as possible, wear face coverings in enclosed spaces and maintain social distancing.

“It’s not that long until Christmas now and I’m sure all of you, like me, want to be able to be with family and friends.

“But for that to be possible, we must stop the spread of the virus.

“No one wants to see another spike in deaths from Covid-19. We must protect one another.

“We are already seeing a significant rise in Covid-19 patients needing critical care in our region.

“Don’t take unnecessary risks because you think you’re safe.

“Please keep a safe distance from others, wash your hands regularly and wear a face covering in shops, on public transport and in other enclosed spaces.”

The latest information and advice go to the council website at

The government's website has detailed guidance for people living in 'high' alert areas here.

The Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust's Covid-19 death toll stands at 394 and there have been 3,962 confirmed cases recorded in Sandwell since the pandemic began.

Dudley borough has remained in level one - with the risk declared as 'medium.'