TIER TWO RESTRICTIONS
The Somerset Guardian, 2nd December 2020
This week, the four-week national lockdown in England finishes and the tier system, that previously had been implemented to control the spread of Coronavirus, will take its place subject to periodic review.
With the exception of the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, counties in England have been placed in either tier two or tier three depending upon local transmission rates and the Prime Minister has indicated to Members of Parliament that the arrangement may be discontinued in nine weeks’ time if the statistics prove favourable.
Like most of the country, North East Somerset falls into tier two, which means that pubs, restaurants, gyms and hairdressers are set to reopen but with tighter restrictions. Those consuming alcohol are only allowed to do so at establishments where substantial meals are served. As before, people are allowed to meet in pubs and restaurants as a group of six if seated outdoors but if socialising indoors they should be part of the same household. Multiple households mixing at home is not permitted.
The Government understands that the hospitality sector has borne the economic brunt of the pandemic, which is why I am pleased that an extra £40million will be given to some pubs in tiers two and three that do not serve food. Pub and restaurant owners in tiers one and two have been told that they are allowed to extend closing time to eleven o’clock, which is also welcome news and should provide a boost.
I agree with Boris Johnson that the case for the regulations being tightened is “compelling”, with the NHS and its staff remaining under great pressure that would only increase if the rules were to relax too soon. Even though there is a breakthrough with the vaccines and rates are falling, we are not home and dry just yet.
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