What does the three-tier alert system mean for North Somerset?
- Credit: PA
A new three-tier alert system has been announced by the Government to deal with Covid-19 in different parts of the country.
The system places different areas into three tiers depending on their risk levels – meaning places with more Covid-19 cases will face further restrictions.
The Government has introduced the system as an alternative to putting the whole country on lockdown again and to make the rules easier to follow.
Announcing the new measures yesterday (Monday), Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “This is not how we want to live our lives, but this is the narrow path we have to tread between the social and economic trauma of a full lockdown and the massive human, and indeed economic cost of an uncontained epidemic.”
North Somerset is in tier one – the medium risk category – which is the lowest level and means people should follow current national restrictions such as social distancing, a 10pm hospitality curfew and a ban on gatherings of more than six people indoors and outdoors.
High risk areas will fall under tier two with new added rules meaning people from different homes can only mix outside, as long as the rule of six and social distancing are followed.
Tier three is for areas with a very high alert level, where there has been a significant rise in cases. In these areas, pubs and leisure centres will have to close and people will not be allowed to travel between areas or mix with others indoors or outdoors. But retail, schools and universities can stay open.
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The three tier system comes into force tomorrow (Wednesday).
The coronavirus infection rate is increasing at different speeds in different parts of the UK.
North Somerset’s seven-day rate is currently 39.5 per 100,000 people – an increase on the previous week’s rate of 20.9.
This compares to the South West’s seven-day rate of 49.6 and the rate for England at 124.7.
According to Public Health England, 33 more cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in North Somerset over the weekend, bringing the total number of people who have tested positive for the virus to 1,302.
Cumulative case counts include patients who are currently unwell, have recovered and those that have died.
As with the rest of the country, numbers are continuing to rise, and people are encouraged to continue practising social distancing, wearing face coverings wear required and washing their hands regularly.