Following the Secretary of State’s announcement, the BCP Council area will be moving to Tier 4 from 00:01 on Thursday 31 December.
Tier 4 restrictions and guidance must be followed from Thursday 31 December, in a bid to drive down the rates of infection, protect vulnerable people and stop the spread of the virus.
The Tier 4 regulations instruct everyone to stay at home, which means residents must not leave or be outside of their homes, except where they have a specific purpose or a ‘reasonable excuse’. Exceptions include work, where people cannot work from home, education and childcare, and essential activities such as shopping for food or medicine, and for exercise.
For full details of what the Tier change means, please refer to the government’s website for Tier 4 restrictions.
Where people are going out for valid reasons, they should try to stay local as much as possible and avoid travelling out of their town or village. Plan your journey, walk and cycle wherever possible and if using public transport try to avoid busy times and routes. Avoid car sharing with people not in the same household or support bubble.
Sam Crowe, Director of Public Health for Dorset and BCP Councils, said:
“The number of positive cases of Covid-19 across the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area has risen significantly over the last week. Tier 2 measures are just not enough to stop the virus spreading.
“Our infection rates have risen in people over the age of 60 which is putting increased pressure on already stretched NHS services. Making sacrifices now means we could prevent an even larger spike in January.
“It is essential, now more than ever that everyone follows the rules for Tier 4 to help drive infections down. Until the vaccine is rolled out wider, we must do all we can to supress the virus by staying at home unless for essential journeys. Remember; hands, face, space and ventilating your home are simple measures we can all do that will make a difference.”
Cllr Nicola Greene, Portfolio Holder for COVID Resilience and Public Health, said:
“I know this news will be very difficult for very many people, but coronavirus is deadly and it continues to spread in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. We must all now stay at home as much as possible. Only by doing our bit, as individuals, can we collectively turn the tide on the spread of the virus, reduce the worrying pressure on our health services, and ultimately save lives.
“We must not lose sight that this is what these restrictions are about – saving lives by reducing the spread of the virus. We must all therefore comply with the restrictions in place now. The more we do so, the greater chance we have of reducing the R rate, meaning less people catching coronavirus, less people becoming seriously ill, and fewer people dying from its effects.
“We know our local businesses have been suffering greatly in recent months, and would urge them to visit our website for details of our grant schemes. We will also be pressing the government for further information on funding and support available to support our economy, in particular our retail and hospitality sectors.”