Sunday, January 24, 2021

Whole of Lincolnshire placed into Tier 3 restrictions

The Government has confirmed that Lincolnshire will be placed into Tier 3 restrictions following the end of the national lockdown.

While retail will begin to re-open, giving high streets a chance to rescue part of the festive trading period, the hospitality industry will mainly remain closed in the region.

Being placed in Tier 3 means:

  • you must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility – this is called the ‘rule of 6’
  • hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
  • accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training
  • indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close. This includes:
    • indoor play centres and areas, including trampolining parks and soft play
    • casinos
    • bingo halls
    • bowling alleys
    • skating rinks
    • amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
    • laser quests and escape rooms
    • cinemas, theatres and concert halls
    • snooker halls
  • indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close (indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such attractions can remain open). This includes indoor attractions within:
    • zoos, safari parks, and wildlife reserves
    • aquariums, visitor attractions at farms, and other animal attractions
    • model villages
    • museums, galleries and sculpture parks
    • botanical gardens, biomes or greenhouses
    • theme parks, circuses, fairgrounds and funfairs
    • visitor attractions at film studios, heritage sites such as castles and stately homes
    • landmarks including observation decks and viewing platforms
  • leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close
  • there should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators
  • large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events
  • places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with  anyone outside of your household or support bubble while you are there, unless a legal exemption applies
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, 15 people can attend linked commemorative events
  • organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place
  • organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place indoors. There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s
  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
  • avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey

Councillor Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council and Chair of the Lincolnshire Outbreak Engagement Board, said: “It’s very disappointing that the whole of Lincolnshire has gone into Tier 3 as we are seeing infection rates fall, especially in those few districts that were previously causing concern – and this could have a crippling effect on our hospitality sector.”

He continued: “Although our figures have been high in some districts and lower elsewhere, there’s a clear levelling off and drop in the numbers as the lockdown restrictions and the considerable efforts of our residents begin to take effect.

“While some of our districts have infection rates well below the England average, why should the whole of Lincolnshire go into Tier 3 for the sake of higher rates in some districts – it doesn’t make sense.

“We’ll need to discuss support for our businesses, especially those in the hospitality sector who will lose most of their trade. This is an important aspect of our economy and we will want to have a conversation about the additional support our businesses would need during this time.

“We appreciate that the furlough and other support is in place until 31 March but many of our businesses will only partially open and need the Christmas economy to survive given the nature of this year.

“As a minimum we will need additional discretionary business support grants so we can assist those most in need and look forward to a conversation about these details so our economy is not disadvantaged.

“It seems like a big blow for Lincolnshire, with our residents working with us all the way to bring down infection rates. Four of our districts have infection rates below the national average and I’m expecting the drop in those other areas to continue, which means we could soon be below the England average.

“We’ll be looking to move out of Tier 3 as soon as possible if the picture continues to improve.

“I must urge everyone to work with us to bring down our infection rates. Keep to the hands, face, space guidance, keep to the restrictions in place, so we can minimise the risk of catching or passing on the virus.

“If you develop any symptoms no matter how mild then please isolate yourself and book a test, and while you wait for the test and the result please continue isolating for the safety of others.

“We will work with everyone towards a better result in two weeks’ time when the tiers are reviewed.”

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