Residents in Bath and North East Somerset are being urged to keep protecting themselves and others by continuing to limit social contacts when the lockdown measures are lifted next week.
Bath & North East Somerset will be in tier 2 from Wednesday December 2 under the government’s new tier system. Until then the national lockdown restrictions remain in place. Tier 2 is much stricter than prior to lockdown and the government will be reviewing all tiers again by December 16th.
Dr Bruce Laurence, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “We now know we will be in tier 2 and also how we can mix at Christmas. Many businesses can now reopen and we can plan to share this special time of year with loved ones and friends.
“But I urge people to use these opportunities carefully and sparingly. Covid-19 kills and it will continue to take every opportunity to spread. Like other respiratory viruses it looks forward to winter and the festive season as much as we do so we must all work together to drive the numbers down.
“Please be very cautious about exposing older relatives or those with long term illnesses to large numbers of people any of whom might be spreading the virus without even knowing it. This will protect the people we love and also the health services they depend on. The RUH and other hospitals in the region are already very hard pressed and staff who are working so hard at the end of a relentless and punishing year are in desperate need of a rest, or at least some protection from another possible onslaught.
When the area moves into tier 2 the new guidance states
- 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
Further guidance can be found here:
Councillor Dine Romero, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said “I would like to thank residents for their efforts in driving the numbers down. Although falling, our case numbers remain high, putting pressure on our own RUH. If we don’t follow the Tier 2 rules to the letter, the numbers could rise again. We recognise that Bristol. North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are in Tier 3 and that residents travel across this area, particularly for work. Guidance for Tier 3 residents is to avoid travelling to other areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities
“Likewise, we ourselves must continue to follow tier 2 rules when travelling to a tier 1 area. We must 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. We can travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey.”
The government advice on meeting at Christmas between 23 and 27 December is:
- you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households
- you can only be in one Christmas bubble
- you cannot change your Christmas bubble
- you can travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble
- you can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces
- you can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier where you are staying
- you cannot meet someone in a private dwelling who is not part of your household or Christmas bubble