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Guidance about the new COVID-19 tiers

As you’ll probably be aware, the Government announced that as of Wednesday next week (2 December), we will be moving out of lockdown and into a new three-tiered system. We now know that, subject to Parliamentary approval, Devon will be placed within Tier 2: High alert.

This means that:

  • Non-essential shops can reopen, along with other businesses such as gyms, restaurants, leisure facilities and hairdressers.
  • We can now meet up to six people in an outdoor space, while maintaining social distancing.
  • Socialising indoors with anyone you don’t live with, or who is not in your support bubble, is not allowed under Tier 2, whether at home or in a public place.

The tier allocations will be regularly reviewed, the first being by Wednesday 16 December. You can read the full guidelines here.

Thank you all for your continued efforts in helping to fight COVID-19 and for following the lockdown restrictions that were introduced earlier this month by the Government. It looks as though the number of cases has stabilised across the county, and that is down to you, your families and your communities who have all worked together to help prevent the spread of the virus. We remain hopeful that if we all continue to follow the guidelines, we may be able to get our county down into Tier 1: Medium alert.

The Government has also announced plans to relax the regulations for five days over the Christmas period (between 23 and 27 December), allowing three households to form an exclusive ‘bubble’ to meet at home during this time. Travel restrictions across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and between tiers will also be lifted to provide a window for households to come together.

This is welcome news, and although it might not enable all of us to have what we might consider our normal Christmas, it does mean that we can see more of our loved ones.