All of Devon has been placed in Tier 2 of the Government’s new coronavirus restrictions.
It means the county will not be placed under the strictest regime of Covid restrictions once the current lockdown period ends – but is still on high alert.
The new system is similar to but stricter than the three-tier system we had back in October. More areas than before are in the stricter tiers.
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
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is due to make a statement in parliament confirming the changes.
Earlier Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw said he hoped Exeter and the rest of Devon and Cornwall could avoid being placed in Tier 3, despite mounting Covid pressures at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. It currently has around 125 Covid patients – five whole wards.
The first Covid-19 patients are being transferred from the RD&E to the 116-bed NHS Nightingale Hospital in Sowton this morning.
The Labour MP for Exeter said that being placed in the highest tier would be ‘unfair’ on the local community despite the hospital pressures.
“If you look at the overall figures for Exeter and the wider Devon area they are very low – half the UK average and coming down.“