Northamptonshire remains in Tier 2

Published: Thursday, 17 December 2020

The Government has announced today that Northamptonshire will remain in Tier 2 of the three tier COVID-19 alert system.

The decision is based on the latest available coronavirus data and is in line with the measures set out in the Government’s COVID-19 Winter Plan.

This means that Northamptonshire continues to be officially on ‘high alert’ in terms of risk of exposure and transmission of the virus.

With each tier of the three tier alert system comes tighter local restrictions and guidance which must be followed.

Under the Tier 2 local restrictions:

  • You cannot mix with another household indoors
  • You can meet up to six people from another household outdoors
  • Overnight stays are permitted only with your household or support bubble
  • Walk and cycle wherever possible and avoid travelling to Tier 3 areas
  • You must work from home if you can
  • Pubs must close unless operating as restaurants

Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health Northamptonshire said: "Our position across the county remains extremely precarious and we must all remember that just because we can do something doesn't mean we should. We must not be COVID-complacent and it is paramount that we continue to take measures to ensure that ourselves and our loved ones are protected from the virus. Christmas is on its way and I urge you to think very carefully about meeting your loved ones indoors.

“We are living on a knife edge in terms of being placed into Tier 3. We may not have been placed in Tier 3 today but we must brace ourselves for this happening after Christmas if cases do not drastically reduce.”

Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “While the decision is welcome from an economic point of view, transmission rates in Northampton are very high and almost pushed the borough into Tier 3 restrictions.

“I would appeal to everyone to recognise the impact of this devastating disease on their families, friends, neighbours and the business community, and make sacrifices where possible in the coming weeks to help reduce transmission.

“Although the Government has announced relaxation of the rules around Christmas, more than ever we all need to do our very best to limit contact as much as we can.”

The rules, as it stands, are that on December 23, all restrictions will be relaxed in all tiers until December 27 to allow three households to celebrate together indoors, outdoors or in a place of worship however under the circumstances, Northamptonshire residents are being urged to reconsider plans to mix due to the increasing case rate locally.

The next review point for the current tier allocations are due to take place on 30 December 2020.

Decisions on tiers are made by ministers based on public health recommendations informed by the following factors:

  • case detection rate (in all age groups and, in particular, among the over 60s)
  • how quickly case rates are rising or falling
  • positivity in the general population
  • pressure on the NHS – including current and projected (3 to 4 weeks out) NHS capacity – including admissions, general/acute/ICU bed occupancy, staff absences local context and exceptional circumstances such as a local but contained outbreak

If these indicators are not improving, an area may be moved up a tier and if the trajectory improves, the area may move to a lower tier. A 'watch list' will be published every Thursday detailing the latest data at a regional level, providing the rationale and data behind these decisions.