10 December 2020
|Stick to Tier 2 restrictions to Protect Norfolk|
Public health, local government, health services and blue light officials across Norfolk have urged people not to be complacent, remember the tier two guidelines and continue to work together to help stop the spread of coronavirus during this festive season.
Following the second national lockdown, infections have been plateauing across the county but there are signs that they may be beginning to rise again. The hope provided by the beginning of the vaccination programme has raised optimism but the surge prior to lockdown should remind everyone that people must not become too relaxed in many areas of their daily life. Everyone wants to enjoy Christmas but the best way for everyone to do that safely is to stick to the Tier 2 guidelines and for people to support businesses in a responsible way.
Dr Louise Smith, Director of Public Health for Norfolk, warned: “Dr Louise Smith, Director of Public Health for Norfolk, warned: “The lock down has brought some benefit to the figures in Norfolk and they have returned to those now similar to pre lockdown levels. This is good progress but we are at a pivotal moment for the county on where we go next in our fight against the virus.
“I’m concerned that people might feel they are keeping to the rules, but that they might be following Tier 1 restrictions, not Tier 2.
“The greatest risk for the spread of infection is mixing between households and I worry that people are meeting up in groups of six in homes and in shops and restaurants. In tier 2 households cannot mix in restaurants, and pubs and bars must close unless they are operating as restaurant.
“We all want to support our local businesses, to comply with the Tier 2 rules, as the rules that are there to keep us all safe. The best support we can give to these businesses is to keep to the guidelines when we visit, so they as a business can confidently meet the Covid guidelines. I know that many people, businesses and organisations have found it tough over the last few months but the restrictions are there to stop the virus from spreading. The measures are in place to protect everyone and we must remember this. Only by working together can we protect Norfolk.”
The seven-day incidence of the virus in Norfolk for the week to December 4 was 99 per 100,000, up from 94 the previous week.
There are currently 226 people being treated in hospitals in Norfolk and Waveney, up from 182 the previous week.
Cllr Andrew Proctor, Chair of the Local Engagement Board and Leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “This has been a week of hope in Norfolk, as we’ve seen the first vaccinations taking place to much celebration. I’m sure the people of Norfolk are hugely grateful for the efforts of local NHS and social care staff who are working so hard to get the vaccine to the most vulnerable.
“Sadly, we are by no means at the end of this pandemic though. The people of Norfolk have worked so hard to protect each other and we have to keep going and not get complacent.
“Christmas is fast approaching, and rules will be relaxed for five days, so we need to think about our actions now so that we can reduce the risk as much as possible over the festive period. Do not forget that regardless of this relaxation, the Tier Rules – currently Tier 2 – still apply.
“Please do keep supporting our local businesses and enjoying the build up to Christmas but do this in a safe way – keep making space, observe social distancing, cleaning your hands and wearing a mask”. We can still celebrate but we need to do it differently this year.
As a result of reports and feedback, this Friday (11 December 2020) between 5pm and 9pm, local authority Environmental Health Officers, Covid support staff and neighbourhood police officers, will be making visits to a number of venues in each district, to offer additional advice and guidance and make their expectations clear around the restrictions. They will be looking to engage, explain and encourage people to adhere to the guidelines but where this fails they may take enforcement action where it is proportionate to do so.
Tom McCabe, Chair of the Strategic Coordination Group at Norfolk Resilience Forum, said: “The vast majority of our local businesses and shops are playing their part and following the guidelines to keep their customers and staff safe.
“However, there are some exceptions and we need everybody to embrace the new Tier rules and to support the proprietors and alongside our colleagues from policing, we will be making visits to ensure they understand the rules. After many months of tackling this pandemic, we know there can be no excuses for not being Covid secure. We must not put out our local businesses at risk with our behaviours as the next tier announcement comes next week.
“I want to emphasise that the majority of our local businesses and shops are following the guidelines and we thank them and the people of Norfolk for their efforts.”
Rates per 100,000 for the week to December 4 (previous week in brackets):
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