Bristol has been put into Tier 3 – very high alert – which comes with strict measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The Government announced the tiers today which will come into force when the month-long lockdown in England ends on 2 December.
The city, along with South Gloucestershire and North Somerset will continue to see restrictions on socialising and the hospitality sector but all essential and non-essential retail can re-open.
Government decisions on tiers are informed by case detection rate, how quickly rates are rising and falling and positivity in the general population.
It also considers pressure on the NHS and circumstances such as local but contained outbreaks.
The number of people contracting COVID-19 in Bristol rose sharply from September, and the city now has an infection rate of 390.2 new cases per 100,000 people.
In the past seven days, from those tested, there were 1,808 positive results in the city (information as of 24 Nov).
What will Tier 3 mean?
- You must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble – this includes any private garden or at most outdoor venues.
- You must not socialise in a group of more than six in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, beaches, or a sports facility.
- Hospitality settings, such as bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – but can provide takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
- Indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close – including indoor play centres, bingo halls, bowling alleys, cinemas and theatres.
- Indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close – but indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets can remain open. This includes museums, zoos, galleries and theme parks, as well as farms and heritage sites.
- Leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open – but organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place indoors. (There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s).
- Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place.
- There should be no public attendance at spectator sports or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators.
- Large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events.
- Places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble while you are there, unless a legal exemption applies.
- Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies but wedding receptions are not allowed. Thirty people can attend funeral ceremonies and 15 people linked commemorative events.
- 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.
- Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close.
- Avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey.
- For international travel see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office for travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list.
Bristol City Council has forecast Tier 3 will cost the city £2.8m per month – due to a shortfall in Government funding to support businesses and vulnerable people.
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees is also warning the new restrictions will further decimate the hospitality sector.
He said: “While we all want to get back to normal as quickly as possible we also must get the COVID-19 infection rate in the city down. COVID-19 is devastating lives and livelihoods – people are becoming very unwell and businesses and workers are facing enormous financial challenges.
“For every moment we are in Tier 3, the hospitality sector will be further damaged, people will lose businesses they have built up and jobs will be on the line. We can all help move to a tier with fewer restrictions if we work together and follow the guidance.
“COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person, and we know that one of the main reasons for the recent increase in infection rates is because people are going into other people’s homes when they shouldn’t be.
“We all want to see friends and family, but for now it is really important we protect those we love by not visiting them. The sooner we all do this, the sooner we can get back to some normality.”
For more information on the Tier 3 restrictions visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know