Worcester MP Robin Walker has urged caution as Worcester will move into ‘tier 2’ of the new restrictions come into force next week. The current national restrictions will end on December 2 and the tiering system will return across the country.

It was confirmed today that Worcester will come into the ‘high alert category’ which will see shops, gyms and personal care establishments re-open.

Robin urged people in Worcester to safely show their support for local businesses which have had to close down in the crucial run up to Christmas. Robin has also reinforced the need to comply with the new measures when they come in place to ensure that Worcester can move into the tier one, medium alert category.

Decisions on which area goes into which tier are primarily based on 5 key epidemiological indicators; case detection rates in all age groups, case detection rates in the over-60s, the rate at which cases are rising or falling, positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken), and pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy.

The indicators are designed to provide a full picture of what is happening with the virus in any area so that suitable action can be taken.

Robin welcomes the fact that Local Authorities in Tier 2 areas are being provided with additional funding to make cash grants to businesses that can remain open. These grants are primarily aimed at hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses and are worth 70 per cent of the value of grants available to closed businesses in Tier 3 areas. He is also pleased to see grants for the self-employed increased from covering 20 per cent of profits to 40 percent, thereby increasing the maximum grant from £1,875 to £3,750.

The first review of the tier allocations will take place on December 16, with the potential for areas to move down a tier before Christmas if they are making progress in slowing the spread of the virus.

Speaking after the announcement of the tiers, Robin said:

“I want to again thank the people of Worcester for all the sacrifices that they have made this year and once again I urge people to comply with tiering system when it comes into effect so that we can move into Tier 1 as soon as possible.”

“From December the 2nd, businesses across the UK and in Worcester will reopen and most fitness activities will be allowed again.”

“I am pleased that shops will be able to remain open in Worcester from the 2nd of December, especially coming into Christmas and going forward our testing capacity and start to roll out the vaccines as quickly as possible.”

“I know the coming weeks are going to be difficult, but we need to do whatever we can by supporting our local businesses and buying locally, whether that be in person or through click and collect.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

For further information on the new measures, please see:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/full-list-of-local-restriction-tiers-by-area

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 stonesettings.
  • 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