Bristol placed in Tier 3: what this means for you and your family

Today it was confirmed that the government has instructed Tier 3 – very high alert – restrictions be put in place for Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset which come with strict measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Although all essential and non-essential retail can re-open, Tier 3 puts restrictions on the hospitality sector which Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees is warning will further decimate the sector.

Bristol City Council has also forecast that Tier 3 will cost the council £2.8m per month due to a shortfall in Government funding to support businesses and vulnerable people.

Bristol City Mayor, Marvin Rees, comments, “While we all want to get back to normal as quickly as possible we also must get the COVID-19 infection rate in the city down. COVID-19 is devastating lives and livelihoods – people are becoming very unwell and businesses and workers are facing enormous financial challenges.

“For every moment we are in Tier 3, the hospitality sector will be further damaged, people will lose businesses they have built up and jobs will be on the line. We can all help move to a tier with fewer restrictions if we work together and follow the guidance.

“COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person, and we know that one of the main reasons for the recent increase in infection rates is because people are going into other people’s homes when they shouldn’t be. We all want to see friends and family, but for now it is really important we protect those we love by not visiting them. The sooner we all do this, the sooner we can get back to some normality.”

Decisions on tiers are made by the government without negotiation and informed by the following factors:

Case detection rate – in all age groups and, in particular, the over-60s
How quickly case rates are rising or falling
Positivity in the general population
Pressure on the NHS – including current and projected NHS capacity
Local context and exceptional circumstances, such as a local but contained outbreaks.
The number of people contracting COVID-19 in Bristol rose sharply from September, and the city now has an infection rate of 390.2 new cases per 100,000 people. In the past seven days, from those tested, there were 1,808 positive results in the city (information as of 24 Nov).

Bristol’s Director of Public Health, Christina Gray explains: “Across all tiers it’s important to remember how COVID-19 is transmitted and make sure we do all we can to prevent the spread of infection. So please wear a face covering when you need to, wash your hands regularly, and stay at home if you’ve been told to self-isolate. If you develop symptoms, stay at home and book a test.

“In the past week we’ve seen a slight drop in infection rates across the city. However we must not be complacent, we still must do all we can to further reduce infections. People are getting seriously ill, and we’ve seen increased numbers of people needing hospital treatment. This, alongside the usual winter pressures, is putting a strain on local NHS services. Please do all you can to protect Bristol.”

Tier 3 will come into force on 00:01 on Wednesday 2nd December. While all essential and non-essential retail can re-open, there are restrictions on socialising and the hospitality sector.

Tier 3 restrictions:

  • 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 six 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 trampoline 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 sports 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
  • For international travel see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office for travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list.