Nottinghamshire to enter Tier 3 Covid restrictions on Friday

28 October 2020, 13:36 | Updated: 28 October 2020, 18:39

Nottingham is heading into Tier 3 this weekend
Nottingham is heading into Tier 3 this weekend. Picture: PA

By Ewan Somerville

The entire county of Nottinghamshire is moving into tier three on Friday, it has been confirmed.

The 8 districts of Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Broxtowe, Gedling, Mansfield, Newark and Sherwood, Nottingham and Rushcliffe, will all move into the current highest Tier from midnight on Friday.

It means that households which have not formed bubbles are banned from socialising together in any indoor setting or private garden.

When people do gather outside, it must be in groups no larger than six and all must observe social distancing rules.

All pubs and bars have also been ordered to close, unless they can serve alcohol with "substantial meals".

Those that stay open must close by the 10pm curfew, and shops are banned from selling booze after 9pm.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We have seen infection rates rising sharply across Nottinghamshire, and in close collaboration with local leaders we have agreed on a package of local measures to stop this virus in its tracks. I understand how difficult life is under these restrictions and the impact they have on families and businesses, but we never take these decisions lightly.

“I want to thank local leaders for their continued support, and to extend my gratitude to the people of Nottinghamshire who have shown real resilience, consistently working together to follow the rules and help bring down rates of infection.

“Everyone has a part to play in controlling the virus – remember Hands, Face, Space – self-isolate and get tested if you have symptoms and follow the rules where you live.”

A surge of cases in the county has led to Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust taking the “extremely difficult decision” to postpone four cancer operations this week, citing “pressure on intensive care units”.

The head of the NHS trust, which runs Nottingham’s two main hospitals, previously said some non-urgent surgery and appointments would have to be cancelled because of a spike in Covid-19 admissions.

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It is understood the trust has not implemented a blanket cancellation of cancer operations.

Nottingham had the highest figures in the UK earlier this month, but its seven-day rate of infection has dropped again to 439.8 per 100,000 people in the week to 24 October, making it the 26th hotspot in the country.

It comes as pressure mounts on Boris Johnson to address the UK’s soaring Covid-19 cases, with the tally rising topping 20,000 again on Tuesday. There were a further 367 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

Sage, the Government scientific advisory group, has reportedly warned the Prime Minister that the latest modelling suggests the UK’s second wave of coronavirus will be more deadly than the first, with daily deaths hitting 500 in weeks without tougher restrictions.

Read more: UK's second Covid wave could be deadlier than the first, Sage warns

Read more: Cancer operations cancelled in Nottingham due to ‘pressure’ on ICU

Nottinghamshire joins Greater Manchester, Liverpool city region, South Yorkshire, Lancashire and Warrington in the top tier of lockdown rules. More than eight million people in England will be living in the “very high” alert level by the end of the week.

Areas in the tier must close pubs and bars not serving “substantial meals”, households are banned from mixing socially in most settings, some entertainment venues are shut and travel in or out is advised against.

The Department of Health and Social Care has been approached for comment.