Yesterday (Monday), Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced details of a new three-tier lockdown system in England, but what does it mean for Bedford?
The system has been launched in an effort to tackle the rising number of coronavirus infections in England, showing areas as:
- Tier one: medium
- Tier two: high
- Tier Three: very high risk
Bedford Borough is currently at Tier 1 -medium.
The track and trace app states: “Your local authority or a neighbouring local authority, has high or rising levels of infection. Please follow national guidelines.”
Around a quarter of the UK in ‘high’ or ‘very high’ alert areas are under localised restrictions.
Currently, information regarding the risk level of your area can be checked on the NHS Test and Trace app. Residents can also use the postcode checker on the gov.uk website, although it is not up and running at the time of writing.
Does this mean there are changes to what we can and can’t do?
- While Bedford’s risk level remains ‘medium’, all schools, shops and universities will remain open, although those who can work from home, should do so.
- Residents must observe the ‘rule of six’ when meeting members of other households, whether that is indoors or outdoors.
- Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies are restricted to 15 attendees (including the happy couple and officiator).
- Organised group sport is only allowed outdoors.
- Face coverings must be worn in shops, cafes, restaurants and on public transport.
- Residents are asked to wash their hands regularly and maintain social distancing.
- The 10pm curfew in hospitality businesses remains in place.
What happens if we enter the ‘high’ or ‘very high’ risk category?
If our risk level increases, mixing indoors between different households or ‘bubbles’ would be prevented.
Groups of upto six from different households could meet up outside, but the ‘rule of six’ would still apply. Even outdoor meet-ups could be prevented if we reach ‘very high’ risk.
Bars and pubs will be allowed to remain open but if we entered the ‘very high’ risk tier, only businesses serving food can continue trading.
These restrictions will be law rather than just government advice with the situation reviewed every few weeks.