Health Director urges caution over Christmas as Derbyshire is set to enter Tier 3

Published on: Thursday, 26th November 2020

Derbyshire’s Director of Public Health is urging residents to be cautious about the risk of spreading coronavirus when rules are relaxed at Christmas.

Dean Wallace issued the warning today after the Government announced that Derbyshire will enter the highest alert level – or Tier 3 – when the second ‘lockdown’ ends on December 2.

The Government has also announced that between December 23 and 27 up to three households will be able to form a ‘Christmas bubble’.

Mr Wallace said: “After the year we’ve had I’m sure we’re all really looking forward to celebrating Christmas.  But the virus hasn’t gone away so Christmas is going to look very different this year and I’d urge people not to let their guard down.

“We have to do everything we can to drive infection rates across the county down – including washing our hands, staying apart and wearing a face covering - so that hopefully we can move into a lower alert level.

“We all want to celebrate Christmas safely so it is more important than ever that we all continue to do everything we can to protect our friends and family by sticking to the rules, and even though we’ve been given an opportunity to spend time with the people that we love we have to remember that there will be no ‘Christmas truce’ from this deadly virus which will keep on spreading.

“This virus thrives on people being together so we must all think carefully about the risks of forming bubbles with our elderly and vulnerable relatives - and consider if it is a risk worth taking.”

Under Tier 3 the restrictions mean:

  • No mixing of households indoors or in most outdoor places apart from support bubbles. Maximum of 6 in some outdoor spaces (parks, sports courts, public gardens)
  • Pubs, restaurants and cafes remain closed, except for take-away, delivery or drive-through
  • Shops, hair salons, gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can open
  • Indoor entertainment venues closed
  • Avoid unnecessary travel out of the area apart from work, childcare, education, medical attention, youth services, caring responsibilities
  • No overnight stays outside of local area unless for work, education or similar reasons
  • Everyone who can work at home should do so
  • Early years settings, schools, colleges and universities open. Registered childcare, other supervised activities for children and childcare bubbles permitted
  • Places of worship open but people should not mix with anyone not in the household or bubble
  • 15 guests are allowed at weddings and 30 mourners at funerals. No wedding receptions are allowed
  • Exercise classes and organised sport can take place outdoors but avoid higher-risk contact activity. None indoors unless it is with a household or bubble. Organised sport for elite athletes, under 18s and people with disabilities can continue
  • Events should not take place. Drive in events permitted

For more details of the restrictions which will come in to force next week visit www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know#very-high-alert 

Derbyshire County Council Leader Councillor Barry Lewis added: “The Government’s decision to place Derbyshire in Tier 3 is disappointing news.  This will have a considerable impact on already hard-hit sectors across Derbyshire such as hospitality and tourism so we need to work together to drive infection rates down to give us the best chance of moving in to a lower tier.

“We all want to celebrate Christmas but I’d urge everyone to do that safely by making sure they follow the rules so that we keep everyone safe and support our businesses to return to normal more quickly.”

Anyone who develops symptoms – a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a change to their taste or smell – should self-isolate for 10 days immediately and book a test. Everyone in their household should isolate for 14 days.

They should not leave home while they wait for results or if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and asked to self-isolate because you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

For more information about coronavirus, to find out how and when to get a test and how to access support visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

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