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New restrictions announced

New “high” alert level announced by Government for Ashfield and Nottinghamshire

The changes will be a new system of local Covid alert levels in which different parts of England will be placed into “medium”, “high” and “very high” alert levels.

Both city and county have been placed into the “high” level of risk category. This is the first time the city and county have been put into such restrictions.

Restrictions imposed will include no mixing with other households indoors. The rule of six will still apply to those outdoors, where the risk of the virus spreading is deemed to be lower.

This will be kept under constant review, and in particular in areas where the levels are particularly high. Businesses in the city and county will remain under the same restrictions which are already in place, which includes the 10pm curfew for pubs and bars.

Schools and education settings will also remain open across the whole of England, including in the city and county.

Regulations are being laid today by the Government and will be voted on tomorrow by MPs before coming into force on Wednesday.

The Government Covid 19 app will show what local alert level applies to each area along with a postcode checker on the website. This will contain updated guidance what these levels mean, especially for those who are vulnerable.

This comes as the numbers across the city and county continue to escalate. Numbers in the city are currently at more than 900 cases per 100,000 and the county ranges between 90 and 290 per 100,000. This is based on the rate in the seven days up to 8th October.

The new restrictions are designed to curb this trajectory to save lives, protect the most vulnerable, reduce pressure on the NHS, and keep schools and businesses open as much as possible.

Alison Challenger, Director of Public Health for Nottingham City Council, said:

“I would urge everyone to play their part and follow these new restrictions. We have to do all we can to stop the spread of Covid-19 and better protect older and more vulnerable people – as well as helping to reduce pressure on the NHS as we move into winter.
“I know the majority of people are following the correct behaviours and playing their part in keeping our communities safe – and I thank them for this.
“Tighter restrictions will not be easy for any of us. We have been living with Covid-19 for eight months. Our lives have been restricted, we feel inconvenienced, and we all have worry and anxiety over our health and wellbeing. Some of us, sadly, may have lost loved ones to the virus.
“We have to keep going. We have to continue to work together by sticking to the rules and following these important rules and guidelines.”

Jonathan Gribbin, Director of Public Health for Nottinghamshire County Council, said:

“Positive Covid-19 cases are increasing across the entire county in some areas the increase is steep. To slow the spread and prevent the need for stricter measures, we must only mix indoors within our own household (or support bubble) and we all have to observe the rules on hands, face, and space.
“If you get symptoms you need to isolate and take a test. And people need to keep on following the guidance to stay safe and protect lives. Key to this is making sure you stay two metres apart, wear masks where applicable and wash hands regularly. Hands, face, space. It could not be any clearer.
“Only by doing this can we turn the tide on these escalating numbers, prevent the vulnerable becoming ill, and stop the numbers of hospital admissions rising.  This is a responsibility for every one of us.”
The Government is expected to give further details over the coming days about what the new restrictions mean and any new laws which may need to be implemented as a result. The restrictions will come into force by Wednesday this week.

Cllr Jason Zadrozny, Leader of Ashfield District Council said:

“We understand how difficult these further restrictions are for residents, but it is important that as a County we act now so that we can return to normal life as soon as possible. Not one area of the County or group of people is responsible for the spread of the virus, but it is all our responsibility to do what we can to protect our communities.
“Today’s announcement puts Nottinghamshire in the High tier meaning in order to restrict the spread of the virus it is important that we do not mix indoors with people from other households.  This will come into force on Wednesday, alongside the other measures already in place. I want to thank the residents of Ashfield for playing their part and helping to reduce the pressure on the NHS and preventing the spread of the virus further.
“Ashfield District Council will continue to provide a full range of services including a full bin collection service.  We will continue to help the most vulnerable with targeted help – just like we did during the previous lock-down.  It’s clear that local lock-downs haven’t worked – I am hopeful however these latest measures will help stop the spread of coronavirus.  All future decisions must be taken in full consultation with local leaders."