By Rachael Grealish
Barrow-in-Furness is among the several areas moving in to tier 2 lockdown measures.
The changes were announced by the Health Secretary Matt Hancock today, Thursday October 15, while speaking in the House of Commons.
In his opening statement Hancock said that things would get worse before they got better.
He said: “Things will get worse before they get better. But I know that there are brighter skies and calmer seas ahead. But the ingenuity of science will find a way through.”
Hancock first confirmed London is moving from medium alert level tier 1 to the high alert level tier 2 – then went on to say Essex and Elmbridge are also moving from tier 1 to tier 2.
Following this the Health Secretary said changes to the alert levels will come into effect at one minute past midnight on Saturday morning, October 17.
He then added Barrow-in-Furness, York, north-east Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield are also moving into tier 2, where they will face tougher restrictions.
This, he said, is due to cases in these places are doubling in less than fortnight.
What does this mean for Barrow?
Tier 2, high risk, is for areas with a higher level of infections. This means the following additional measures are in place:
- People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
- People must not meet in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or other space.
- People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.
The new restrictions will be reviewed after 14 days and full details of what these entail can be found HERE.
The announcement Barrow will move to tier 2 follows a request from the county’s Area Outbreak Board last week for additional restrictions to be imposed due to the rapidly increasing rate of infection in the area.
The latest infection rate data shows Barrow with 292 cases per 100,000 (compared to an England average of 160).
Councillor Ann Thomson, the leader of Barrow Borough Council, said: “The number of infections has continued to grow across Barrow since the request for action from the government was made last week.
“We are in an extremely concerning situation. Coronavirus is a deadly virus and lives are at stake.
“It’s crucial that every one of us follows the rules to limit its spread and to protect our loved ones, families, friends, neighbours and communities.”
A public communications campaign will now be launched to ensure awareness of the new rules.
Matt Saunders, Consultant in Public Health at Cumbria County Council, said: “If everyone follows the new rules it can make a difference, preventing further disruption, illness and deaths.
“But we all have to act now and take responsible and sensible steps to reduce the risk of spreading or catching COVID-19.
“The new rules are very clear, but generally any steps people can take to limit their social contact and mixing with others, alongside wearing masks in enclosed public spaces, and outdoors if it’s busy, and washing hands regularly will have an impact.”
Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery said: “With the elevation of the Barrow area into Tier 2 status, a number of different restrictions will come into place. We ask everybody to familiarise themselves with these new measures and make sure that they adhere to them.
“Police officers have an important role in ensuring that people comply with the restrictions in order that they can take effect and reduce the number of people suffering from Covid-19. The community in Barrow have been fantastic throughout this difficult year and we hope that we do not have to issue any fixed penalty tickets.
“However, anybody deliberately breaking the regulations can expect to receive a fixed penalty fine. Please help us to suppress the virus now and prevent any further restrictions coming into place.”