Following close discussions with local leaders, the whole of Nottinghamshire, comprising the eight districts of Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Broxtowe, Gedling, Mansfield, Newark and Sherwood, Nottingham and Rushcliffe, will move from Local COVID Alert Level High to Very High from 00.01 on 30 October.
This means that new measures will come into place including:
• people must not socialise with anybody they do not live or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events;
• people must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or outdoor sports courts/facilities;
• all pubs and bars must close, unless they are serving substantial meals;
• people should try to avoid travelling outside the Very High alert level or entering a Very High alert level area, other than for work, education or for caring responsibilities or to travel through as part of a longer journey; and
• residents should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK, and others should avoid staying overnight in the Very High Alert area.
In addition, following discussions with local leaders it was agreed that from 30 October at 00.01 the following measures will also come into place:
• all hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs) can only remain open to offer substantial meals, or must move to operate a delivery and takeaway service only. Alcohol can only be served with a substantial meal;
• the use of shared smoking equipment (such as but not limited to shisha) in hospitality venues will be prohibited;
• betting shops, car boot sales and auction houses (with the exception of livestock and agricultural equipment sales) must close;
• alcohol sales must be prohibited after 9pm where alcohol is purchased to consume off premises, for example shops. Alcohol can continue to be purchased in hospitality venues where accompanying a substantial meal, up until 10pm;
• indoor entertainment and tourism venues must close, except for ice skating rinks, cinemas, concert halls, and theatres. Hotels and other accommodation can stay open;
• outdoor entertainment and tourism venues can remain open, with the exception of their indoor attractions (such as at animal attractions or landmarks);
• saunas and steam rooms must close;
• leisure and sporting facilities (such as leisure centres, gyms, fitness and dance studios, swimming pools and sports courts) can remain open. It is strongly advised that indoor group exercise classes (including dance and fitness classes) should not take place;
• personal care settings such as tattoo parlours, tanning and nail salons, and piercing services must close. Hairdressers and barber salons can remain open but cannot perform services that are otherwise closed. It is advised that personal care services do not take place in private homes; and
• public buildings such as town and parish halls, community centres and libraries can remain open to run activities such as childcare and support groups. Public buildings should not host events for private hire, such as birthday parties or other social activities.
The rate of COVID-19 infections is rising rapidly across the UK. The weekly case rate in England stood at 201 people per 100,000 from 15 October to 21 October, up from 100 people per 100,000 for the week 25 September to 1 October. Cases are not evenly spread, with infection rates rising more rapidly in some areas than others.
In Nottinghamshire, infection rates are among the highest in the country and continue to rise rapidly. The weekly case rate stands at 364 people per 100,000 in Nottinghamshire County, and is 239 per 100,000 in those over 60 rising to 772 per 100,000 in those aged 17-21 years old. In Nottingham City the current weekly case rate per 100,000 rises to 493 per 100,000, with 918 per 100,000 aged between 17-21. As of 20 October, there were 194 confirmed COVID-19 cases at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, with 11 mechanical ventilation beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients.
To support the local community during this period, it has also been agreed with local leaders that the move to the Very High will be supported by funding that is proportionate to that received by other regions that have moved to Very High. This will include additional funding from the Contain Outbreak Management Fund to support proactive containment and intervention measures, as well as business support funding.
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.”
Minister of State Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said:
“I would like to thank the local leaders in Nottinghamshire for entering into productive discussions and coming to an agreement as quickly as possible.
“We are very conscious that these new restrictions will have a huge impact on those living and working in the county, but this action is vital and is based on public health advice. In order to support local people, businesses and the councils, we worked together to agree an extensive package of support.
“These restrictions will be reviewed in 28 days to ensure they are only in place for as long as necessary. We are working closely with leaders across Nottinghamshire to support local people and businesses through the ongoing challenges this pandemic brings.”
All available data for the areas that will move to Local COVID Alert Level: Very High have been assessed by the Government, including the Health and Social Care Secretary, NHS Test and Trace, the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), Public Health England (PHE), the Chief Medical Officer and the Cabinet Office. Data assessed includes incidence, test positivity and the growth rate of the virus.
It is essential that these outbreaks are contained to protect lives and our NHS, and prevent greater economic damage in the future. We face a new challenge as we head into the winter, and we know that even mild cases of COVID-19 can have devastating consequences for people in all age groups, along with the risk of Long Covid.
Our strategy is to suppress the virus while supporting the economy, education and the NHS, until an effective vaccine is widely available. Local action is at the centre of our response, and engagement with Local Authorities is, and will continue to be, a key part of this process.
As well as the new restrictions, please continue to:
- wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
- wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will coming into contact with people you do not normally meet
- stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing a face covering, or increasing ventilation indoors).
People who have symptoms of Covid-19 – high temperature, continuous cough or loss of taste or smell – must self-isolate immediately and book a test online or by calling 119.