Today it has been announced that Rutland will be placed in Tier 2 following the end of the lockdown on December 2nd. Melton and the Vale and Harborough District will be placed into Tier 3.
I’m relieved that my colleagues in Government have listened to my consistent lobbying of the Prime Minister and Ministers over the last two weeks and rightly recognised Rutland as the independent county it is, and its lower COVID-19 rates.
Local Authorities receive updated COVID-19 rates and statistics each week, which show that Rutland’s COVID rate per 100,000 people is 102.7 – lower than the national average (218.4). Rates in Rutland continue to fall.
I know some residents may be disappointed that we are not in Tier 1, but the only areas of the country in Tier 1 are those with rates around 62.4/100k Cornwall or 70.5/100k on the Isle of Wight and moreover the pressures on our local NHS hospitals remains very high. Tier 2 restrictions will help prevent anyone from Rutland being unable to get an intensive care bed when they need it. We remain surrounded by tier 3 areas, and so we must be vigilant.
Having protected our independence as an independent County, it will be easier for us to move into a lower tier if we successfully get our rates down further before the next review point. Tier 2 will be in place from 2nd December until 16th December – the first Government review point. I hope that by December 16th we will also have a vaccination programme live in Rutland to vaccinate our community against COVID-19, subject to vaccines being approved. That means we have just under three weeks to get our rates down before the next review so that I can argue that we should be able to move into Tier 1.
This will only be possible by adhering to the following Tier 2 restrictions.
• No mixing of households indoors apart from support bubbles.
• Rule of six applies outdoors.
• Retail, entertainment and personal care reopen.
• Pubs and bars must close unless they are operating as restaurants.
• Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals.
• Hospitality must stop taking orders at 10pm and must close by 11pm.
• Overnight stays are only permitted with household or support bubble.
• Everyone who can work from home should do so.
• Places of worship open for individual prayer.
• 15 guests for weddings, civil partnerships, wedding receptions and wakes.
• 30 guests for funerals.
• Exercise classes and organised adult sport can take place outdoors but cannot take place indoors if there is any interaction between people from different households.
• Indoor leisure e.g. gyms and swimming open.
• Elite sport, live performances and businesses events open to the public but limited to 50% capacity, or 2000 outdoors/ 1000 indoors (whichever is lower) with strict social distancing measures in place.