Dear members, volunteer coordinators and parish councillors
The Government has announced that Cambridgeshire is moving into Tier 4 restrictions from 12.01am on Saturday 26 December.
I had hoped that the previous update would be the last until the New Year but we wanted to share with you all what this announcement will mean.
Firstly, the change does not affect Christmas Day. People can still choose to mix with two other households. However, as we have stressed before, the fact that people are allowed to do that does not mean you should. Less mixing and shorter celebrations will minimise the risk to loved ones and help ensure Coronavirus is not passed on. Please do share our Facebook posts within your communities to help encourage people to spend their Christmas Day as safely as possible:
- Cllr Bridget Smith shares her plans to have a smaller Christmas
- For anyone worrying about whether it’s safe to spend time together, it’s not too late to change plans
You can view the full guidance on Christmas bubbles on the Government’s website.
What does Tier 4 mean for community groups and local support?
People on the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable list who cannot work from home are not allowed to go to work under Tier 4 restrictions. Clearly this also means they should not go to the shops for food or medication either. This group of people have been provided with lots of information since the beginning of the pandemic and asked to register on the Government’s website for updates. We have also provided additional information over recent months to ensure they know how to contact key organisations such as the County Council, ourselves and to remind them that local Covid community groups can also help them. You can check or pass on the latest Government guidance for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people in Tier 4 on the Government’s website.
As time has passed, most people who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable have become very self-sufficient in dealing with the restrictions so we are not expecting a big increase in requests for support.
The online supermarket delivery priority for people who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable remains in place to ensure they can receive food when needed. However, we wanted to remind you that we also have access to a separate online priority scheme for Tesco and Iceland. The scheme is aimed at people who cannot go shopping due to Covid-19. There is more information on our website. Please ask anyone this may help to contact us so we can arrange this.
Summary of Tier 4 rules
- Don’t invite anyone into your home for social reasons, who you don’t normally live with or who isn’t in your existing support bubble.
- Only leave home for essential reasons (for food/medicine/essential care or personal safety) and when you are out, remember to keep 2 meters away from anyone you don’t live with, wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay in well ventilated, uncrowded places.
- You can go out to exercise alone, with people you live with, or with one other person you don’t live with providing this is in a public place like a park.
- Everyone must work from home unless they are unable to do so, and if it is essential to work outside the home take maximum precautions – particularly travelling to or from work (avoid car sharing and busy public transport, wear a mask, regular hand washing or sanitising, staying in well ventilated places, and cleaning surfaces).
- Don’t travel outside Tier 4 unless for essential work or education or a legally permitted reason – and reduce the journeys you take inside the area. People from Tiers 1 – 3 should not travel to Tier 4 areas, except for essential purposes such as work, education or a legally permitted reason.
Other impacts of the Tier 4 rules are as follows:
- All non-essential shops will close. Click and collect is allowed.
- All hospitality will be closed – except for take away, drive through or food delivery.
- Businesses offering personal care, hairdressers, barbers, beauty salons, gyms etc. will all close.
- No weddings except in exceptional circumstances, funerals with only a maximum of 30 people.
- Places of worship open for private prayer or communal worship – but don’t mix with anyone not in your household.
- Visits to care homes can take place if there are arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows.
- Close-contact indoor care home visits supported by rapid testing, which are allowed in some care homes in Tiers 1-3, will not be allowed in Tier 4.
- Entertainment venues are closed. Some outdoor sports facilities are allowed with Covid secure measures
The Government’s website has the full guidance for Tier 4.
Finally, I know the latest announcement will mean we are all thinking what else we can do to help. We still have a way to go in the pandemic and your support is more vital than ever. To ensure help is there when it is needed I would encourage you to ensure you also have break.
I wish you and your family a safe Christmas.
Lead Cabinet Member for Community Resilience, Health & Wellbeing
South Cambridgeshire District Council