COVENTRY will move into Tier 4 with tougher Covid restrictions coming into force at midnight, following the Government’s announcement today.
It means all non-essential shops, hairdressers, leisure and entertainment venues and gyms must now close.
The message to people is to ‘stay at home’ with people only allowed to leave their property for exercise, education, childcare, essential shopping and for work when they cannot work from home.
Households are not allowed to mix but one person is allowed to meet with others in an outside public space.
Support bubbles are also exempt.
People in tier 4 areas must also not stay overnight away from home and are unable to travel abroad.
Coun George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, said: “It is important residents and businesses follow the new rules and carefully consider everything they do, making sure they stay local and minimise travel wherever possible.
“The council will continue to deliver the essential services people rely on and if we all pull together and remember to follow the guidance we will get through this together.
“But what is clear is that the roll-out of the vaccine needs to be a national priority as it is critical that as many people as possible receive it as quickly as possible to bring back the normality that so many people and businesses are desperate to see.”
Liz Gaulton, Director of Public Health for Coventry City Council added: “I recognise that this announcement will be disappointing and upsetting for many residents, including some business owners.
“But we’ve been put into Tier 4 restrictions as the rate of the infection is increasing rapidly in the city and we can’t put any further pressure on the NHS.
“Making these sacrifices now will hopefully prevent an even larger spike of cases in January and February, keeping us all safer until we can get vaccinated.”
Business leaders have also reacted to Coventry and Warwickshire moving into Tier 4 Covid-19 restrictions.
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “As we have said from the outset of the pandemic, health must come first but the latest restrictions to hit the region mean even more businesses will have to close their doors and it’s vitally important that Government continues to help firms to get through this.
“With the roll-out of the vaccine underway and the approval of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, companies across Coventry and Warwickshire can see a light at the end of the tunnel so it’s crucial that as many businesses as possible survive the difficult weeks ahead.
“Then, there needs to be a short, medium and long-term plan to build a sustained economic recovery after the most devastating downturn any of us have seen. Government must work with business to help create that plan.”
It means the only area in Tier 1 is the Scilly Isles, off the coast of Cornwall, there are no Tier 2 areas and the rest of England is in either Tier 3 or 4.