The Government has today announced that Cumbria will move into Tier 4 of the new COVID-19 restrictions classification system from midnight tonight (00:01 on 31 December).  The message for Tier 4 areas is ‘Stay at Home’.

Under the new restriction level there must be no household mixing, aside from support bubbles and just two people meeting in public outdoor spaces. Education settings will remain open in Tier 4 during term time. All hospitality must close aside from sales by takeaway, drive-through or delivery. All personal care businesses, non-essential retail, indoor leisure and entertainment venues must also close.

Everyone must work from home unless they are unable to do so. People must not leave a Tier 4 area or stay overnight away from home and those living in Tier 1 – 3 places should not enter Tier 4 areas.

Cumbrians are being urged not to forget the basic ways they can help keep themselves and others safe and help avoid spreading infection – Hands – Face – Space. Please maintain social distancing, wear a face covering, and wash hands regularly.

The area’s status is expected to be reviewed after 14 days.

Cumbria’s Director of Public Health Colin Cox, said:

“The very latest data indicates that the number of new infections is increasing in all of our six districts, especially in Eden and Carlisle. The rate of spread as a result of the new strain is exceptionally quick and this is why decisive and immediate action is required. As a result of the spike in numbers hospitals across the country remain under intense pressure and it is simply not sustainable for numbers in hospital to remain at these levels so it’s vital that action is taken now to try and reduce the spread.

“The new restrictions will have an impact on some of the things we have been able to do under the Tier 2 level and I would encourage people to familiarise themselves with the latest guidance on gov.uk/coronavirus. Tier 4 is not dissimilar to the first lockdown where people must stay at home and only travel for work, education or other legally permitted reasons.

“I would also encourage people to remain vigilant and follow the rules. Keep doing the simple things that really do make a difference – maintain social distancing, wear face coverings and wash your hands.”

Plans are also in place for Cumbria to receive the new Oxford vaccine in the new year.

Decisions on tiers are made by Government ministers informed by the following factors:

  • Case detection rate (in all age groups and, in particular, amongst the over 60s);
  • How quickly case rates are rising or falling;
  • Positivity in the general population;
  • Pressure on the NHS – including current and projected (3-4 weeks out) NHS capacity – including admissions, general/acute/ICU bed occupancy, staff absences; and
  • Local context and exceptional circumstances such as a local but contained outbreak.

If these indicators are not improving, an area may be moved up a tier and if the trajectory improves, the area may move to a lower tier.

Full details of the new restrictions can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know

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