The Government has today confirmed Bristol will move back to tier 3 amid increasing COVID-19 infection rates across the city.
The number of people contracting COVID-19 in the city has risen sharply since the last review of the local tier restriction system on 17 December, and the city now has an infection rate of 156 new cases per 100,000 people. In the past seven days, from those tested, there were 721 positive results in the city.
Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, acknowledged that people in Bristol will be disappointed to have moved back into tier 3 despite working hard to reduce numbers.
He said: “In the past few weeks, many of us have continued to make sacrifices to drive down the COVID-19 infection rates. Our efforts were acknowledged by the Government which saw the city move down to the tier 2 – high alert – level of restrictions. I know people will be disappointed we have moved back into tier 3, but infection rates are increasing in Bristol and we must continue to protect each other.
“This Christmas and New Year will look very different to last year, but if we all continue doing the best we can to follow guidelines and protect one another, we can be hopeful of a return to the things we love next year.”
Mayor Rees also acknowledged the impact the move back to tier 3 will have on businesses, particularly the hospitality industry, and those who have been to date excluded from the government’s COVID-19 financial support measures.
“I know moving back into tier 3 will be shattering news for those in the hospitality sector who desperately needed the boost during the festive season, but unfortunately our rising infection rates mean difficult decisions must be taken to protect Bristol.
“We urge Government to consider the economic consequences as part of the decision-making process around tiering decisions, and to recognise the total number of businesses within cities like Bristol, something not currently reflected in the government formula that determines the amount of funding each city gets to support its people.”
Tier 3 will come into force on 00:01 on Boxing Day, Saturday 26 December. While all essential and non-essential retail can remain open, there are restrictions on socialising and the hospitality sector.
In tier 3:
- You must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues
- You must not socialise in a group of more than six in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility – this is called the ‘rule of 6’
- Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services
- Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training
- Indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close
- Indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close (indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such attractions can remain open)
- Leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close
- There should be no public attendance at spectator sports or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators
- Large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events
- Places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble while you are there, unless a legal exemption applies
- Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees - 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, 15 people can attend linked commemorative events
- Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place
- 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
- Avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey