COVID-19: No Tier 2 plans for the Cotswolds despite rising cases

THERE are currently no plans to move Gloucestershire and the Cotswold district up into Tier 2 for Covid restrictions despite the rising number of cases.

On Tuesday, there were seven new cases of Covid-19 recorded in the Cotswold region with the total number of people to have tested positive for the virus in the district now up to 417, according to the latest Government data.

Public Health England figures show that 3,335 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 9am on Tuesday in Gloucestershire, up from 3,265 the same time on Monday.

The Cotswolds and Gloucestershire are currently in the Tier 1 medium Covid alert level, meaning people can only meet in groups of six or less, with a 10pm curfew in place for hospitality venues.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Cases in Gloucestershire are still relatively low compared to other parts of the UK but they are rising, so it’s important we all do everything we can to avoid spreading the virus to keep those who are most at risk safe.

“You should continue to wash your hands regularly, keep your distance, wear a face covering; isolate if you have been in contact with someone with Covid-19, and get tested if you develop symptoms yourself.”

Meanwhile, care home bosses in Gloucestershire will be advised to suspend visitors as part of a new, local six-step plan to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, writes Leigh Boobyer.

The action plan was launched yesterday by Gloucestershire County Council.

The authority said its director of public health, Sarah Scott, will write to all care homes advising them to suspend visiting.

It said: “We will work with care homes to make sure there are other, safe ways, for residents and their loved ones stay in touch, with exceptions for those who sadly have to say goodbye.”

Also included in the plan is the deployment of a compliance officer for each district to help residents understand and follow the guidance.

Gloucestershire was handed £300,000 of a £2.2million Government grant to fund the new officers earlier this month.

The county council said the new plan will support the Government’s three-tier system which was announced last week.

All of Gloucestershire’s districts – Cheltenham, Stroud, Forest of Dean, Cotswold, Gloucester and Tewkesbury – are currently placed in Tier 1, which includes various restrictions.

Residents who needed to shield from the virus earlier this year will also be asked by the authority to reduce their social contact.

The six steps are:

Increased enforcement

Welfare checks

Suspend care home visits

Covid-19 Gloucestershire Protection Representatives (nationally referred to as Covid-19 Marshals).

Letter to those in shielding group to remind and reassure

Do it yourselves. Do it for each other.

Sarah Scott, director of public health at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “We recognise that some of these steps will be difficult for our community, especially where it affects people being able to be with loved ones, but they are crucial to minimise the risk of Covid-19 in our community.

“It is especially important as we head into the Winter months, where demand for health and social care services is at its highest.

“We know everyone has already been working hard to keep to the guidance, but it is more important that ever that we don’t give up.”

Council leader Mark Hawthorne (C, Quedgeley) said:  “I want to thank our residents, businesses and partners for everything they are already doing to prevent the spread of Covid cases in the county– but we must keep this up.

“Whilst, thankfully, cases of Covid  remain lower than many other parts of the country – they are rising.

“Further action is necessary now, to prevent the need for restrictions which we can’t control.

“Let’s do it for each other – let’s slow the spread of Covid-19.”

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