Hinckley heading into Tier 3 next Wednesday

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 26 November 2020

THIS MORNING it was officially announced by the Government that Hinckley and Bosworth will enter into ‘Tier 3’ COVID-restrictions next Wednesday (2 December) alongside other towns and villages in Leicestershire, and the city Leicester.

The top of Hinckley’s Castle Street (Mason Moore for The Hinckley Free Press)

The Tier 3 restrictions will start on Wednesday 2 December and indicates a ‘very high alert’ for coronavirus risks, according to the Government website. The ‘Tier’ system will start on the same day that the English lockdown is lifted.

Pre-lockdown, back in October and early November, Hinckley was only in ‘Tier 1’ which meant that there was only a ‘medium’ risk of cases in the area – the lowest tier of them all.

Like Hinckley, the market town of Nuneaton nearby in Warwickshire joins the town in being placed under the same strict Tier 3 restrictions.

Residents still have to wear face coverings unless otherwise exempt and adhere to the social distancing rules which are currently in place, whilst taking public transport and visiting indoor venues.

As first reported by Dan Martin at the Leicester Mercury, the Government will review Leicestershire and Leicester’s Tier 3 status before Christmas.

What we can do

The Government have confirmed that residents in Tier 3 are able to take part in the following activities:

  • Visit retailers, such as supermarkets and convenience stores
  • Have a total of 15 attendees at a wedding, however, receptions are not permitted
  • Have a total of 30 attendees at a funeral
  • Attend drive-in events
  • Visit personal care businesses such as a hairdressers or beauticians
  • Send students to early years settings, schools, Colleges and Universities
  • Continue visiting places of worship, although visitors are unable to interact with those outside of their households or social bubble
  • Businesses trading in the hospitality sector can offer takeaway, delivery, drive-through, and collection services
  • Travel for essential visits – shopping, education, or work
  • Take part in outdoor classes and organised adult sports
  • COVID-complaint and secure visits – such as substantial screens, visiting pods and window visits to those in residential care – outdoor and ‘airtight’ visits only
  • Organised activities for elite athletes, under-18s, and disabled people can continue

What we can’t do

  • Stay overnight – the Government are advising against overnight stays, unless these are with members of your support bubble or household
  • Travel for non-essential purposes – don’t travel if you don’t have to and reduce the number of journeys when possible
  • Exercise in groups – Group exercise activities and sports are unable to take place indoors
  • Dine-in – hospitality venues such as cafes, bars, and restaurants, remain closed for dine-in purposes
  • Mix with other households – households are unable to mix indoors or in outdoor places, apart from those who are in support bubbles

Council Leader Stuart Bray speaks out

In a statement, Stuart Bray, Council Leader for Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, said: “This is a devastating blow for our local businesses.

“I am gravely concerned about the impact of this extended closure on hospitality businesses and on jobs particularly at a time of year that would usually be their busiest.

 “While we all want to avoid overwhelming the NHS and see infection rates kept under control, this new regional tiered system will hit our area hard. 

“This approach effectively links areas with lower infection rates like Hinckley and Bosworth with areas that have much, much higher infection rates making it impossible for our local independent businesses to make any real impact on regional infection levels.

“It’s a bitter blow when our local businesses have already invested so much money and effort into making their businesses operate safely, and particularly so when we’ve already seen the results of everyone’s combined efforts to bring infection rates down in this area.

 “Infection rates in the Hinckley and Bosworth area are currently among the lowest in Leicestershire and they are dropping. 

 “I will be pushing for a review at the earliest possible opportunity and trust that the review in two weeks’ time will see enough progress to allow for a move down the tier system.

“Until then, I’d remind everyone it’s never been more important to keep supporting our local businesses by shopping local and using delivery and click and collect services to help our businesses to survive through this incredibly difficult time.”

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