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‘Let’s do it for what matters most and get restrictions lifted as soon as possible’

Tier 3 instructions posterTamworth residents are being urged to keep doing their bit to reduce the spread of coronavirus so we can get additional local restrictions lifted as soon as possible.

It has been confirmed that Tamworth, as part of Staffordshire, will move into the highest alert level tier when the national lockdown ends on Wednesday, December 2.

This is because despite numbers finally starting to fall, positive Covid-19 cases in the county are still higher than the West Midlands average and much higher than the national average.

It’s not just the case rate that determines the new tier allocations, it also takes account of factors such as how quickly case rates are rising or falling, the detection rate in the over 60s, positivity in the general population and pressure on local NHS services.

And while numbers have started falling in recent days, this downward trend needs to be maintained for the county to move down a tier.

The tiers will next be reviewed on December 16 and people are being urged to stick to the rules over the next few weeks to give us the best chance of coming down a level as soon as possible.

Cllr Jeremy Oates, Tamworth Borough Council’s Covid lead, said: “It is disappointing that we’re going out of lockdown into a higher tier than we went in, but it’s felt that due to our higher than average case rates and the impact on hospitals and NHS services across the county, tier 2 will not be enough to get the numbers down sufficiently.

“There’s no doubt that tier 3 will have a huge impact on people’s lives and livelihoods, particularly in those sectors that have to remain closed, such as pubs and restaurants (apart from takeaway services), so it’s in all our interests to get these restrictions lifted as soon as we can.

“If people continue to abide by the rules and cases continue to fall at the rate they are then I am hopeful we can come down a tier before the Christmas break.

“Whatever your motivation, just keep doing it for what matters most to you. Whether that’s seeing your friends and family, going to the pub with your friends or to your favourite restaurant, or to see a show at the theatre, just please stick to the guidelines.”

People are also urged to get a test if they have any symptoms of coronavirus, no matter how mild. There will be increased testing in Tamworth next week, with the Mobile Testing Unit due at the Sir Robert Peel Hospital for four days from December 1 to December 4. Tests must be booked online via the national portal at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.

Staffordshire is also one of 66 local authorities to take part in the roll out of rapid Covid testing for people without symptoms – with up to 10 per cent of the population eventually set to be tested every week.

Dr Richard Harling, Director of Health and Care for Staffordshire, added: “Identifying more people who have the virus so they can self-isolate will help us to reduce the spread of infection this winter. So, if you have any symptoms, or are asked to get tested even though you have no symptoms, it is hugely important that you do so.

“We all need to also remember the basics of washing our hands regularly, wearing a face covering and keeping our distance. These are really simple steps, which together can make the biggest difference.”

Tier 3 Very High Alert level measures include:

  • No mixing anywhere indoors with other households, unless part of your support bubble
  • Up to six people can meet in public parks, but not in private gardens
  • Hospitality such as pubs and restaurants to stay shut, apart for takeaway and drive-through services
  • Gyms and non-essential shops to reopen
  • Work from home if you can, avoid non-essential travel and no overnight stays outside the area
  • Wedding receptions banned 

Full details of Tier 3 can be found online.