After an incredibly challenging period of national lockdown, our region now finds itself in the ‘very high’ Tier 3. These restrictions are designed to protect the most vulnerable among us, drive down infection rates, and allow us to move into a less strict set of measures. Download the poster here.
That is not to say these last four weeks have counted for nothing. Before lockdown, compliance with the measures in place for our region saw infections level off and once again residents across the length and breadth of Northumberland, Tyneside, Wearside and County Durham have united with great effect. Infection rates have dropped rapidly in recent days as the impact of lockdown takes effect. However, infection rates do remain high and ahead of many other parts of the country. That means as we head into the depths of winter, a time in which the NHS is typically under the greatest strain, we must continue to do what we can to protect each other and make sure our hospitals can cope with the demands upon them.
That means we must avoid mixing with other households indoors; outdoor gatherings must be limited to six socially-distanced individuals; hospitality settings must remain closed except for takeaway and delivery services; and indoor leisure and entertainment venues must remain closed.
We must continue to work together and by doing so we will put ourselves in a position to move to a tier which offers more of the freedoms we so dearly miss. Let’s keep going so we can once again meet up and socialise with our families and friends, help more of our local businesses reopen their doors to customers or so that we can cheer on our beloved sports teams.
As a region we will continue to fight for the support required for those residents and businesses that have already suffered so much, and we will work with government to deploy targeted rapid community testing to try and lift some of the barriers placed upon us by COVID-19.
This will only be possible if we all take responsibility and do our bit for one another.
Impact on the Charity sector in North Tyneside
The announcement confirmed that in all tiers there is an exemption ‘for work or providing voluntary or charitable services, including in other people’s homes’. These must still be done so responsibly, and in line with current UK Government advice on Coronavirus and social distancing.
The Prime Minister also announced that ‘essential and non-essential retail’ will be allowed to open from this date in all tiers – this includes charity shops. Read the full guidance here.
The safe use of multi-purpose community facilities: The Government has updated its guidance on the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities.
Community buildings re-opening advice: Risk assessment templates to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers, community members and customers: Risk Assessments for Community Buildings.
The Government has announced a temporary easing of restrictions over the Christmas period. Between 23 and 27 December you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households. Read the full details on making a Christmas bubble here.