Coronavirus: Norfolk enters Tier 2 of government COVID-prevention system for Christmas
Posted: Tue, 01 Dec 2020 16:24
As of 2 December, the national restrictions set by the government a month ago are being lifted, as the country returns to a stricter version of the Tier system in time for the festive period. It was announced that Norfolk, like much of the rest of the country, will be in Tier Two. These measures are being put in place to try and slow the rate of infection around the country, so it is important they are adhered to. But what do they mean for us?
What do the new tiers mean?
The tier system we will see is similar to the one earlier in the year, but with stricter measures in place. Whilst the restrictions imposed by being in Tier 2 will enable many businesses to reopen in Norfolk, and for us to socialise in groups of up to 6 again, we are still unable to mix in an indoor setting with anyone outside our household or support bubble.
Tier one (Medium alert): Only a few areas will fall into Tier One, including the Isle of Wight and Cornwall. This tier must adhere to the rule of 6 indoors and outdoors. Many businesses can reopen, including entertainment, accommodation and indoor leisure centres, and exercise classes and adult sport may take place (though must adhere to the rule of 6 if taking place indoors.) Sports and live performance capacity is limited to 4000 people outdoors or 1000 people indoors.
Tier two (High alert): Norfolk falls into Tier Two of the three-tier system, along with surrounding areas Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, and Essex. The same rules as Tier One apply to those in a Tier Two area, but with added restrictions. When meeting friends and family, this must be done in an outdoor setting as no mixing of households is allowed indoors (there are likely to be some exceptions for a few days over Christmas). Most businesses can reopen, and classes and adult sport may resume outside. Sports and live performances are limited to 2000 people outdoors or 1000 people indoors.
Tier three (Very high alert): The strictest tier of all sees areas such as Bristol, Greater Manchester and Kent on 'very high alert'. This tier prevents the mixing of households both indoors and in most outdoor places. Where mixing is allowed, such as in a support bubble, this must adhere to the rule of 6. Hospitality is closed, as are entertainment venues. Classes and organised adult sport may take place outdoors provided higher-risk contact activity is avoided. Sports and live events should not take place.
What does this mean for Norfolk?
As Norfolk is in Tier 2 as of 2 December, it means the restrictions are being relaxed a little from the national lockdown. We will be able to socialise outdoors with friends and family, provided we adhere to the rule of 6 and maintain social distancing wherever possible.
For those who have been missing out on physical activity, there is some good news. Gyms and leisure centres may reopen in a COVID-safe manner, alongside many entertainment venues. We will be able to return to organised sports and classes outdoors, and a limited number of people will be able to watch live sports.
In terms of travelling, we are being advised to reduce the number of journeys being made, and walk or cycle wherever possible to clear space on public transport. Avoid entering a tier 3 area, other than where necessary (such as for work or education).
There are exemptions to the rules, which can be found on the government website.
What does the new tier system mean for Christmas in Norfolk?
Coronavirus measures on household mixing will be relaxed slightly throughout the country between December 23 - 27 2020. During this time, families will be able to meet with up to two other households in a private home for five days, in order to celebrate the festive period. The travel restrictions will also be lifted to allow families living further apart to meet. This will allow people to celebrate Christmas with their loved ones, and catch up with family members they may not have seen in a while.
The main takeaway from the government advice is that we need to remain vigilant. When returning to a more normal way of life, continue to wash your hands regularly, wear a mask when required and social distance wherever possible. By remaining careful, we can continue to try and protect ourselves and our loved ones.
Have you recently had Coronavirus symptoms?
As we begin to understand the virus a little more, it's becoming clear that recovering from Coronavirus doesn't mean you're in the clear. It is crucial we understand the long-term effects of the virus, and how this can impact us. It's come to light that physical activity can not only play a huge role in boosting your immune system and fighting off winter illnesses, but can also be crucial in recovering from COVID-19. We'll be releasing a new page for those who have been diagnosed with or recovered from Coronavirus, on the resources available to help you return to a normal lifestyle, so watch this space.