To curb the growth in coronavirus cases the Prime Minister announced a new 3 Tier system. It is regrettable that further restrictions are necessary, but we must get the spread of this virus back under control. South Derbyshire remains at the lowest level, but other parts of Derbyshire and surrounding areas have seen higher restrictions introduced, which means there is a potential for the level to change here later down the line.
The first Tier, “medium” alert level, which most of the country including South Derbyshire remains in, contains the same measures that were introduced on the 25th of September. This includes the Rule of Six and the closure of hospitality at 10pm.
The second Tier, “high” alert contains the same measures but will also prevent households mixing by stopping households, including support bubbles from meeting indoors. The Role of Six will also apply outdoors and in private gardens.
The third Tier, “very high” alert is for areas of the greatest concern. It will prevent mixing indoors and outdoors and will see the closure of pubs and bars, however, those that also operate as a restaurant will remain open and they may only serve alcohol as part of a meal.
It is advised that people do not travel in or out of these areas and if it is seen fit, further measures could still be imposed which could include the closure of gyms, casinos and leisure centres. Retail will remain open along with schools and Universities at all of the alert levels.
It is crucial that we all work together and follow the guidelines to stop the spread of the coronavirus. I know many people have suggested it is younger people that have been testing positive, but evidence shows that this is now spreading to older and vulnerable people and we are now seeing an increase in deaths and hospitalizations. This is regrettable but it is why we have decided to put further measures in place.
Though South Derbyshire is at the medium alert level this could change if people don’t follow the guidelines and unfortunately, we could see the introduction of further restrictions which will impact all of us including local businesses.
People have done a good job so far in following the rules which have helped save lives and protected the NHS, but we need to remain vigilant and be aware that the coronavirus is around and is spreading at an increased rate.
For further information on the new three Tier system please see the details below:
Local COVID Alert Level – Medium
This is for areas where national restrictions continue to be in place. This means:
- All businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-19 Secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law, such as nightclubs.
- Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am.
- 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-thru.
- Schools, universities and places of worship remain open
- Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees
- Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place, provided the Rule of Six is followed
- People must not meet in groups larger than 6, indoors or outdoors
Local COVID Alert Level – High
- This is for areas with a higher level of infections. This means the following additional measures are in place:
- People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
- People must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other space.
- People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.
Local COVID Alert Level – Very High
This is for areas with a very high level of infections. The Government will set a baseline of measures for any area in this local alert level. Consultation with local authorities will determine additional measures.
The baseline means the below additional measures are in place:
- Pubs and bars must close, 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.
- Wedding receptions are not allowed
- People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting, whether at home or in a public space. The Rule of Six applies in open public spaces like parks and beaches.
- People should try to avoid travelling outside the ‘Very High’ area they are in, or entering a ‘Very High’ area, other than for things like work, education, accessing youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if they are in transit.
- People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are resident in a ‘Very High’ area, or avoid staying overnight in a ‘Very High’ area if they are resident elsewhere.