COVENTRY has been placed into Tier 2 of the new national risk alert system after the city’s infection rate went up to 174 cases per 100,000 people, meaning there are new restrictions.
Residents can no longer mix in homes or hospitality venues, as well as the existing measures covering social distancing and face coverings.
Coventry was originally been named in the lowest tier when the scheme was announced last week but has now been placed in the next category – moving from medium risk to high risk.
The move, which comes into force at midnight on Friday, is in response to a continuing rise in the number of virus cases in households and communities across the city.
Everyone in Coventry is again being urged help protect the city, each other and the NHS by observing the updated restrictions, as well as observing the crucial messages about hand-washing, face masks, social distancing, Test and Trace and self-isolating when needed.
The latest data shows the city’s current seven-day infection rate now stands at now 174 cases per 100,000 people. Cases have been showing a consistent, upward trend over the past weeks and have been spread right across the city
Council leader’s plea
Coventry City Council leader Coun George Duggins, said: “It is disappointing for all of us that we have moved up into Tier 2, but the reality is that a consistent increase in positive cases over the last few weeks made that inevitable.
“The move does bring additional restrictions and as a city we need to collectively set an objective to get back into Tier 1 as soon as we can.
“We can do that by following the new rules – that means no mixing of households or social bubbles in indoor settings, wearing masks when we need to, washing hands and socially distancing.
“People who have Covid-19 symptoms need to isolate and get a free test immediately.”
He thanked the ‘excellent health and key-workers’, along with the vast majority of the people in the city who ‘had reacted so brilliantly since this pandemic started’.
Despite what we have had to collectively endure they have all shown a tremendous community spirit, but I am asking them all to redouble their efforts to help reduce rates once again.
“At the same time as making this ask to our communities, we must also ask the Government to mend the broken test, track and trace system so it is the world-class service we were promised as I believe without this failure, these additional restrictions may not have been necessary.”
Coventry still lower than Birmingham and Solihull
Although Coventry’s cases per 100,000 has risen in recent weeks, it remains lower than neighbouring Birmingham and Solihull, and lower than the West Midlands’ Combined Authority average.
Around 40 per cent of positive cases are from the 18-21 age group and hospital admissions remain lower than the West Midlands average, along with positive cases in the 60 and over age group.
Liz Gaulton, Coventry’s Director of Public Health, echoed the view that everyone has a role to play in reducing positive rates.
She said: “This has to be a determined effort by the whole city; everyone who lives, works and studies here.
“We would urge everyone to continue following health guidelines and look closely at the new measures that come with the Tier 2 level so we can halt the spread of coronavirus in our city.”
The new restrictions
- Households will not be able to mix indoors including in homes, leisure or hospitality venues.
- Households will be able to mix outside, including in parks, and private gardens provided they do not gather in groups of more than six.
- People can come inside your home for specific purposes – these include where everyone in the gathering lives together, or is in the same support bubble, to attend a birth at the mother’s request, to visit a person who is dying, to fulfil a legal obligation; for work purposes, or for the provision of voluntary or charitable services, for the purposes of education or training, for the purposes of childcare, to provide emergency assistance, to enable one or more persons in the gathering to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm, to facilitate a house move, to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person.
- Existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents will remain exempt.
- Friends and family can also still provide informal childcare for children under 14.