Leicester to remain in Tier 3 of Government’s Covid alert levels
Published on Thursday, December 17, 2020
RESTRICTIONS in Leicester are to continue at the highest level, after a review of the coronavirus situation in the city.
The Government announced today (Thursday 17 December) that Leicester, like much of the country, will remain in Tier 3 – the category for areas with the highest levels of infection and where the most stringent restrictions are required.
Despite Leicester’s infection rate falling from 525 per 100,000 in mid November to 256 per 100,000 in the seven days to 11 December, the prevalence of coronavirus in the city is still high – and numbers are slowly starting to rise again.
Leicester’s director of public health Professor Ivan Browne said: “There are a number of areas of concern – particularly the level of infections in people aged 60 and over, who are more likely to have a serious disease than younger people.
“We are also very concerned about the recent sharp rise in hospital admissions, which is putting our local hospitals under severe pressure.
“Sadly, despite Christmas being on the horizon, this is no time for complacency – and no one must think that the development of a vaccine means they can be less vigilant.
“Despite the relaxation measures set out by the Government, I would urge everyone to think very carefully about their Christmas plans.
“Perhaps consider postponing your family get-togethers until the spring – particularly if you have elderly or vulnerable people in your family – and find other ways to show that you care.
“No one wants the new year to start with a spike in covid cases, so it’s in all our interests to act with caution over the coming days and weeks.”
Under Tier 3 restrictions, mixing in any indoor setting with people you don’t live with – unless you are in a support bubble with them – is not permitted.
Meetings in parks or other public outdoor places are permitted, as long as no more than six people are present and social distancing is observed.
All pubs, cafes and restaurants will remain closed while Leicester is in Tier 3, and museums, cinemas, theatres and hotels – with some exceptions – are amongst the facilities that must also remain closed.
Take-away services can continue.
Non-essential shops, hairdressers, beauty salons, gyms and leisure centres can remain open, although indoor group exercise classes are not permitted.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “People in Leicester have lived with these restrictions for so long, and I thank them for it, but I would urge everyone in the city to stay strong and keep going during the difficult days ahead.
“The new vaccine is a chink of light at the end of the tunnel, but there’s a long way to go before all our most vulnerable people are protected. In the meantime, we need to continue to track the virus down – and we’ll be doing that by increasing our community testing in areas of the city with the highest levels of infection.
“If we offer you a test, please take it – and if you get symptoms of coronavirus, please stay at home and book a test straight away by calling 119.”
As the prevalence of coronavirus in Leicester remains high, people who are clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to take extra care.
Everyone in Leicester should continue to:
- wear a face covering when required
- wash or sanitise their hands frequently
- follow social distancing rules
- work from home, if possible
- refrain from visiting anyone else’s home or garden, unless they’re in a support bubble with them
- walk or cycle if possible – and avoid travelling on buses at peak times if possible
- follow the Rule of Six
- limit their contact with other people
- stay at home and get a test at the first sign of coronavirus by calling 119
Since 28 September, anyone who receives a positive Covid-19 test or is told to self-isolate by the Test & Trace Service must self-isolate for 10 days by law, with anyone failing to self-isolate when they are required to do so facing a fine of between £1,000 and £10,000.
A support payment of £500 can be claimed by employed or self-employed people on low incomes who are told to self-isolate, but whose income would be hit by staying at home.
Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus, or who has symptoms, must self-isolate for 10 days, while anyone living in the same household must also self-isolate for 10 days – a period of quarantine that was reduced from 14 days on Monday (14 December).
The latest figures for Leicester show that 906 people tested positive for coronavirus in the seven days to 11 December.
More information on the Tier 3 restrictions can be found on the Government’s website at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know#very-high-alert