The link to the Tier 4 guidance is here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home
I am also asking people across the county to look out for neighbours and friends who may be alone or under specific pressures and suggesting that they ring or contact them online
The network of support hubs run by the district and city councils and the Countywide Co-ordination Hub can offer support to those who may be lonely or isolated, or who suddenly need very practical support. To contact the hub network people need to call 0345 045 5219 or visit www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk
For anyone whose mental health is being more severely impacted, there is the Lifeline support number 0808 808 2121 which operates daily from 11am to 11pm and for people with a mental health crisis you can phone the NHS 111 number and ask for Option 2. More information about mental health support is available on the Keep Your Head website www.keep-your-head.com
I am writing to confirm the announcement made in Parliament this afternoon that Cambridgeshire will be under tier 4 restrictions from 12.00am on Saturday (26 December).
Case numbers have more than doubled in Cambridgeshire in the most recent week, with the most rapid increases seen in South Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, and Cambridge City. There are significant increases in all districts.
It is thought that this rapid increase in infections – after a period of reducing rates – may be associated with the new variant of the disease which is being seen across London, the East of England and South East England. Peterborough was placed in tier 4 last weekend (20 December).
Under the new restrictions, all non-essential shops must close as well as personal care services such as hairdressers, gyms and entertainment venues such as theatres and cinemas. Hospitality venues such as pubs, cafes and restaurants must also close, offering only take away and delivery services.
People must reduce their contact with anyone outside of their household /support bubble to the absolute minimum and can meet with only one other person from another household outdoors, socially distanced at all times.
People should stay local and travel outside the tier 4 area is only permitted for essential reasons such as work, education, or medical appointments.
It is a great shame that we have reached this stage, especially when I know how hard so many people have worked to keep rates of the virus down, and how much we have done as a council with our district and city council colleagues and partners to keep people safe and to protect our health services.
However, this isn’t simply a reflection on everyone’s efforts so far. We know that the new variant is up to 70% easier to catch, and this may have contributed to the increases seen in Cambridgeshire and also elsewhere. Thankfully, there is currently no evidence that the virus leads to worse outcomes than other variants.
With rates of the virus rising sharply it is clear that we need to do even more. We will be working with our district and city council colleagues on this, and we need everyone across Cambridgeshire to do more as well.
I will be asking residents to play their part and avoid all non-essential contact with anyone outside of their household or support bubble – and any help you can give to promote those messages internally and externally will be extremely helpful.
The tier 4 rules, which I ask you to share with residents, are as follows:
- Don’t invite anyone into your home for social reasons, who you don’t normally live with or who isn’t in your existing support bubble.
- Only leave home for essential reasons (for food/medicine/essential care or personal safety) and when you are out, remember to keep 2 meters away from anyone you don’t live with, wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay in well ventilated, uncrowded places.
- You can go out to exercise alone, with people you live with, or with one other person you don’t live with providing this is in a public place like a park.
- Everyone must work from home unless they are unable to do so, and if it is essential to work outside the home take maximum precautions – particularly travelling to or from work (avoid car sharing and busy public transport, wear a mask, regular hand washing or sanitising, staying in well ventilated places, and cleaning surfaces).
- Don’t travel outside tier 4 unless for essential work or education or a legally permitted reason – and reduce the journeys you take inside the area. People from tiers 1 – 3 should not travel to tier 4 areas, except for essential purposes such as work, education or a legally permitted reason.
Other impacts of the tier 4 rules are as follows:
- All non-essential shops have closed. Click and collect is allowed.
- All hospitality is closed – except for take away, drive through or food delivery.
- Businesses offering personal care, hairdressers, barbers, beauty salons, gyms etc are all closed.
- No weddings except in exceptional circumstances, funerals with only a maximum of 30 people.
- Places of worship open for private prayer or communal worship – but don’t mix with anyone not in your household.
- Visits to care homes can take place if there are arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows.
- Close-contact indoor care home visits supported by rapid testing, which are allowed in some care homes in Tiers 1-3, will not be allowed in Tier 4.
- Entertainment venues are closed. Some outdoor sports facilities are allowed with Covid secure measures