New Forest and Christchurch stay under Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions
THE New Forest and Christchurch will remain under Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions, the government announced today (Thursday).
Both Hampshire and Dorset had been under the ‘high alert’ Tier 2 when the system was put in place on 26th November.
However, three areas in Hampshire will move into the ‘very high alert’ Tier 3 category – Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant – from 19th December.
The Isle of Wight remains under ‘medium alert’ Tier 1 restrictions.
Also entering Tier 3 were Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Surrey (except Waverley), Hastings and Rother.
Health secretary Matt Hancock also revealed two areas would move down from Tier 3 to 2: Bristol and North Somerset.
Tiers will continue to be reviewed every two weeks, and on 27th January parliament will vote on whether to keep the system in place.
Sam Crowe, director of public health for BCP Council, said: “I understand people may feel frustrated and disappointed by this decision.
"Locally, we have seen the reduction in case rates level off and plateau in recent days and our hospital system remains under pressure.
“Tier 1 restrictions would not be enough to continue to bring our rates down, and we would risk having to go back into tougher measures.
“Most people have been doing a really good job in complying with the measures and I’d urge everyone not to drop their guard, and to keep social contact to a minimum, particularly over the five days of reduced restrictions over Christmas.”
As reported in the A&T, a number of surgeries in New Forest and Christchurch have already started Covid vaccination programmes.
Over Christmas – 23rd to 27th December – friends and families are allowed to form three-household bubbles.
Otherwise Tier 2 rules are:
- You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
- You must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’
- Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a Covid-secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs
- Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals
- Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to: provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol; close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway service areas are exempt); stop taking orders after 10pm
- Hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink 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
- Early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm
- Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
- Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
- Places of worship remain open but you must not socialise with people from outside of your household or support bubble while you are indoors there, unless a legal exemption applies
- Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes or stonesettings.
- Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue
- Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing
- You can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
- If you live in a tier 2 area, you must continue to follow tier 2 rules when you travel to a tier 1 area. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey