Banbury in Tier 2 after lockdown
The rules have been released showing what we can and can’t do from next week
Banbury will be in tier 2, high alert level, when we come out of lockdown next week. The whole of Oxfordshire has been placed in tier 2. Previously the county had been on tier 1, apart from Oxford city.
Northamptonshire has also been placed in tier 2.
The government says tier 2 is for areas with a higher or rapidly rising level of infections, where some additional restrictions need to be in place.
These are the rules for tier 2:
- you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
- you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’
- businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs
- pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals
- hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
- provide table service only in premises which sell alcohol
- close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway service areas are exempt)
- stop taking orders after 10pm
- hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
- early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm
- public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
- public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
- places of worship remain open but you must not socialise with people from outside of your household or support bubble while you are indoors there, unless a legal exemption applies
- weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes or stone settings.
- organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue
- organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing
- you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
- You must continue to follow tier 2 rules when you travel to a tier 1 area. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey.
Locally the COVID-Secure teams will be out across the county to ensure that local businesses are continuing to properly abide by the regulations, such as the 10pm last orders in pubs, bars and restaurants.
The teams will be given more enforcement powers, being able to issue notices to businesses that fail to adhere to guidance. These notices will not create any new offences for businesses, but enable the teams to take more decisive action to request that businesses formally comply with COVID-secure measures, and provide them with the means to close these premises where they fail to do so, or quickly where they pose a significant risk to the public.
In the week leading up to 15 November, the COVID-secure teams across Oxfordshire carried out 69 compliance checks and issued nine written warnings to businesses.
Ansaf Azhar, the county council’s Director for Public Health, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has adhered to the national restrictions during November. As the recent fall in COVID cases shows, by people playing their part and sticking to the rules, we can stem the spread of the virus in Oxfordshire.
“However, I must caution that this is just one week’s data and the situation could easily reverse. We can’t afford to be complacent. National lockdown may be lifting next Wednesday, but we are still in the middle of a pandemic. It’s critically important that we stick to the new local restrictions.
“With the festive season approaching, many of us will want to go out to see our friends or to hit the shops. If we do, it’s really important that we follow the guidance about keeping your distance, wearing a face covering and washing your hands regularly – it all still applies.”
Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam