The Government has announced today that Herefordshire will move up a level in the Covid-19 Tier system from Tier 2 (High Alert) to Tier 3 (Very High Alert) due to the rapidly rising rate of infection in the county. The new tier takes effect from 0.01am Thursday 31 December 2020. 

The latest Government figures (in the seven days to December 24) show there were 195 cases per 100,000 people in Herefordshire. This is an increase of 106.6% on the previous week.

Herefordshire’s Acting Director of Public Health Dr Rebecca Howell-Jones said:

“We are very concerned about the rapid rise in the infection rate in Herefordshire in the past few weeks and we need to do all we can to get this under control. We therefore welcome the Government’s decision to move Herefordshire up a level to Tier 3.

“Herefordshire residents have done a brilliant job throughout the pandemic to keep Covid-19 cases low and everyone has a role to play in keeping themselves and their loved ones safe, while helping to make sure our health and care services do not become overwhelmed.

“It has never been more important to keep doing all we can to reduce transmission of infections. The country is now dealing with new rapidly spreading variants of Covid-19 and it is crucial people continue to follow the guidance. We are asking people to think very carefully about social mixing and whether they need to go out.  

“Strict social distancing, always wearing a face covering in indoor public settings and regular thorough handwashing are still key in our battle against the virus.”

Across all tiers everyone:

  • must wear a face covering in most indoor public settings, unless they have an exemption
  • should follow the rules on meeting others safely
  • should walk or cycle where possible, plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes when travelling

Tier 3 restrictions include:

  • you must not socialise indoors, in a private garden and at most outdoor public venues with anyone outside your household or support bubble
  • you can meet in groups of up to 6 friends and family at parks, beaches, countryside, forests, public gardens, allotments, outdoor sports courts/facilities and playgrounds
  • hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha bars), pubs, cafes, restaurants, and social clubs must close except for takeaway, delivery and click and collect services.
  • businesses and venues selling alcohol for consumption off the premises can continue to do so as long as this is through takeaway, delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, holiday lets and guest houses must close.
  • indoor play centres, trampolining parks, amusement arcades, nightclubs, cinemas, theatres concert halls and snooker halls must close
  • a range of indoor and outdoor entertainment venues must close. They include zoos, museums and galleries, heritage sites and animal attractions such as farms

The full Tier 3 restrictions can be found on the Government website.

The Government reviews the Covid-19 Tiers every 14 days and the results of the next review are expected to be announced on Wednesday 13 January 2021.

Please remember, ‘Hands. Face. Space’:

  • hands – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
  • face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet 
  • space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings)