What tier is Midhurst and Petworth in? Here’s all you need to know after latest review

The latest review of the three-tier system in England has been revealed.

Thursday, 17th December 2020, 12:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th December 2020, 2:21 pm

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, made the announcement today after government officials met on Wednesday.

Most of Sussex – including Midhurst and Petworth – is set to remain in tier 2. Only two areas, Hastings and Rother, will see further restrictions by moving into tier 3.

Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant, in Hampshire, have also been placed into tier 3.

Late night Christmas shopping in Midhurst. Photograph by Christopher Ison. SUS-201216-124504001
Late night Christmas shopping in Midhurst. Photograph by Christopher Ison. SUS-201216-124504001

Sussex has been under tier 2 restrictions since December 2, when the second national lockdown ended.

Tier two is classed as high alert, for areas with ‘a higher or rapidly rising level of infection’.

Under tier 2 restrictions:

– you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place

– you must not socialise in a group of more than six people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of six’

– businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs

– pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals

– hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:

provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol

close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway service areas are exempt)

stop taking orders after 10pm

– hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through

– early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls.

– Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm

– public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50 per cent capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors

– public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50 per cent capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors

– places of worship remain open but you must not socialise with people from outside of your household or support bubble while you are indoors there, unless a legal exemption applies

– weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes or stonesettings.

– organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue

– organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing

– you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible

– if you live in a tier 2 area, you must continue to follow tier 2 rules when you travel to a tier 1 area. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities.You can travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey

The five factors in determining what tier an area goes in are case detection rates in all age groups, the rate at which cases are rising or falling, pressure on the local NHS, case detection rates in those over 60, and the positivity rate, which is the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken.

Any changes to tier levels will be enforced from December 19 and tiers will then continue to be reviewed every two weeks.

Health leaders urge everyone to help Keep West Sussex Safe this Christmas

Infection rates in the county have risen significantly in recent weeks and health leaders are urging everyone to reduce contact with others wherever possible to help protect loved ones, each other and the NHS.

Latest figures show 104.9 per 100,000 people in West Sussex tested positive for COVID-19 in the seven days up to December 11. This is up by 72 per cent in the space of a week.

Dr Tony Hill, interim director of Public Health, said: “It is vital that we all play our part in bringing our numbers down. Please do not mix with other households or bubbles indoors and stick to the rule of six when meeting others outside.

“I’d also ask everyone to think carefully about whom they meet with over the festive period and to reduce close or physical contact as much as possible. The less contact you have, the safer you’ll be. Nobody wants to give the unwanted gift of coronavirus this Christmas.”

Councillor Amanda Jupp, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for adults & health and chair of the West Sussex Local Outbreak Engagement Board, said: “I ask everyone to please continue to keep West Sussex safe by following the guidelines.

“I sympathise with everyone who would normally be socialising in our pubs, restaurants and cafes or visiting friends and family to celebrate Christmas, but we must all make short-term sacrifices so that hopefully next year we can return to more normal routines and some relaxation of the conditions we are experiencing at present.”

Those who work in groups or in close contact with others have been reminded to follow ‘hands, face, space’.

“The development of vaccines is excellent news, but they will take time to implement,” Dr Hill added. “It remains vitally important that we all wash our hands regularly, wear face coverings when required and maintain social distancing from people not in our households whenever possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The county council said it will continue to work with communities and partners to help those in need and keep the rate of coronavirus down.

The Community Hub will be operating over Christmas and providing help to those who need support or may be experiencing hardship due to COVID-19.

You can contact the Community Hub in confidence by calling 033 022 27980 or by completing the online form.

The hub will be open seven days a week (including the Christmas Bank Holidays) between 8am-8pm.