‘It is really important we protect those we love,’ says mayor
The government has instructed that the highest level of coronavirus restrictions be put in place for Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset following the lifting of lockdown this week.
This is due to the city’s high infection rate of 354.6 cases per 100,000 people, which is 1.6 times the national average of 218.4.
The restrictions will come into force once lockdown ends, at midnight on Tuesday 1 December. While all essential and non-essential retail can re-open, there are restrictions on socialising and the hospitality sector.
After Wednesday people in Bristol must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody they do not live with. Pubs, cafes and restaurants will be closed, but will be allowed to offer takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
“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,” says Marvin Rees, Bristol mayor.
“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.
The mayor warned against people going into other people’s homes, as this is one of the main ways the virus is transmitted is via person-to-person contact.
“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.”
Decisions on tiers are made by the government and are informed by the following factors: case detection rate (particularly among the over-60s), how quickly case rates are rising or falling, pressure on the NHS and local context and exceptional circumstances, such as a local but contained outbreaks.
Bristol’s director of public health, Christina Gray said: “Across all tiers it’s important to remember how COVID-19 is transmitted and make sure we do all we can to prevent the spread of infection. So please wear a face covering when you need to, wash your hands regularly, and stay at home if you’ve been told to self-isolate. If you develop symptoms, stay at home and book a test.
“In the past week we’ve seen a slight drop in infection rates across the city. However we must not be complacent, we still must do all we can to further reduce infections. People are getting seriously ill, and we’ve seen increased numbers of people needing hospital treatment. This, alongside the usual winter pressures, is putting a strain on local NHS services. Please do all you can to protect Bristol.”