Government Announcement regarding Covid restrictionsThe Government has confirmed that South Somerset will be in Tier 2 of COVID-19 restrictions when a period of national lockdown ends at 00.01 on Wednesday 2 December.
From Wednesday 2 December, these are the restrictions (see below) that will be in place in South Somerset (along with Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip, Sedgemoor, Dorset, Bath & North East Somerset, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Swindon, and Devon).
The system will be regularly reviewed and an area's tier level may change before Christmas - the first review is scheduled for 16 December.
Tier 2: High alert
This is for areas with a higher or rapidly rising level of infections, where some additional restrictions need to be in place.
In tier 2:
· 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 stone settings.
· 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
· for international travel see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list
The Government has announced further details around Christmas and a temporary lifting of some restrictions.
Between 23 and 27 December:
· 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
You should travel to meet those in your Christmas bubble and return home between the 23 and 27 December. Anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel on the 22 and 28 December.
A Government spokesman said: "A fixed bubble is a sensible and proportionate way to balance the desire to spend time with others over the Christmas period, while limiting the risk of spreading infection.
"However, the more people you see, the more likely it is that you will catch or spread coronavirus (COVID-19). You can spread coronavirus to others even if you and the people you meet have no symptoms. You and the other people in your Christmas bubble need to consider these risks carefully before agreeing to form a bubble.
"You should consider ways to celebrate Christmas in other ways, such as the use of technology and meeting outdoors, without bringing households together or travelling between different parts of the country.
"Forming a bubble if you are vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable carries additional risks - see advice for clinically vulnerable people.
"You should keep taking steps to reduce the spread of the virus, and this will help ensure that the festive period is as safe as possible. This includes ensuring indoor spaces get as much fresh air as possible, washing your hands regularly and for 20 seconds, and following rules on self-isolation if you develop symptoms or test positive for coronavirus. You should get a free NHS test if you have symptoms, have been asked to by your local council or your hospital, or are taking part in a government pilot project."
For further information on the Government's Christmas announcement, please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family
Lead Specialist – Communications, Marketing and Media
Strategy and Commissioning
South Somerset District Council
30th November 2020