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Matt Hancock today announced that parts of Hertfordshire will enter Tier 3 restrictions from Wednesday.
Cases across the county have been steadily increasing ahead of Christmas, with only two of the county’s ten boroughs seeing a drop in the latest set of Public Health England data.
The government has announced that it will review every area based on the infection rate for the area, the number of cases in the area at the time, cases in the over 60s, pressure on the local NHS.
Reviews take place every two weeks and the next review of the tier system is to be confirmed on Wednesday.
Ahead of that announcement, Health Secretary Matt Hancock today said that the boroughs of Broxbourne, Watford, Three Rivers and Hertsmere will enter Tier 3 restrictions.
Towns in other boroughs of the county, East Hertfordshire, St Albans, Dacorum, Welwyn Hatfield, North Hertfordshire and Stevenage will all remain in Tier 2.
Boroughs remaining in Tier 2 will be allowed to keep their restaurants open, provided that safety guidelines are adhered to, with only members of the same household meeting indoors.
Which towns are in which tier 2 borough?
East Hertfordshire contains the towns Bishop’s Stortford, Hertford, Ware, Butingford and Sawbridgeworth and other surrounding villages and hamlets.
All will remain under current tier 2 restrictions.
This is because East Hertfordshire has seen its cases fall slightly from the same rate seven days ago.
According to case numbers released by PA, in the 7 days to the 9 December, there were 150.9 cases per 100,000 residents, a drop in the rate from 151.6 the previous week.
St Albans district contains the city of St Albans as well as the towns of Harpenden, Wheathampstead, London Colney, Chiswell Green and Bricket Wood. All will all remain under tier 2 restrictions.
Cases have risen in the past week, from 103.7 per 100,000 to 130.7 in the week to 9 December.
But this is not enough to push the borough into tier 3 restrictions.
Welwyn Hatfield towns include Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, Woolmer Green and Little Heath and surrounding villages and hamlets.
Cases in Welwyn Hatfield have also risen, from 101.6 to 126.8 per 100,000 in the seven days to 9 December.
As with St Albans, this is not a big enough rise to push the borough into tier 3 restrictions.
Dacorum towns include Aldbury, Berkhamsted, Bovingdon, Bourne End, Chipperfield, Cow Roast, Dudswell, Flamstead, Flaunden, Frithsden, Great Gaddesden, Hemel Hempstead, Kings Langley, Little Gaddesden and Tring. All will remain under tier 2 restrictions.
The rate there has risen from 103.4 per 100,000 to 164.1 per 100,000 in the week to 9 December.
But the borough is expected to stay under the second tier of restrictions.
What is and isn’t allowed in Tier 2?
According to the gov.uk website, here are all the rules that those in Tier 2 must follow:
- you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
- you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’
- businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a Covid-secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs
- pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals
hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
- provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol
- close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway service areas are exempt)
- stop taking orders after 10pm
- hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
- early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm
- places of worship remain open but you must not socialise with people from outside of your household or support bubble while you are indoors there, unless a legal exemption applies
- weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes or stonesettings.
- organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue
- organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing
- 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
- if you live in a tier 2 area, you must continue to follow tier 2 rules when you travel to a tier 1 area. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities.You can travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey
North Hertfordshire towns like Baldock, Hitchin, Letchworth and Royston will all remain under tier 2 restrictions because of low case numbers in these areas.
There were 107.1 cases per 100,000 people in the 7 days to 9 December, a rise from 95.1 the previous week.
However, coronavirus transmission remains under control, meaning that the borough and its towns will remain under tier 2 restrictions.
Stevenage and its surrounding villages will remain in tier 2 restrictions, after cases fell in this borough and town.
There were 107.0 cases per 100,000 in the seven days to 9 December, a fall from 134.4 cases the previous week.