By Filiz Emily Gurer, News Editor
Some live arts and hospitality venues will now be able to open their doors in time for Christmas.
Bristol's level of coronavirus restrictions will drop from Tier 3 to Tier 2 this weekend.
The move, announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in a statement to the House of Commons earlier today, will take place at 00:01 on Saturday 19 December.
Bristol and North Somerset are the only two areas in the country currently under Tier Three restrictions that will move down to Tier Two, following a reduction in their numbers of COVID-19 cases.
Bristol has seen a significant decline in case rates since being placed in the highest level of restrictions after lockdown ended on 2 December. Combined with North Somerset, its figures show a drop from 432 per 100,000 to 121 per 100,000.
Bristol’s efforts to drive down infection rates in the city have been recognised today by government.— Bristol City Council (@BristolCouncil) December 17, 2020
The city will move from Tier 3 ‘Very High’ to Tier 2 ‘High’ from 00.01 on Saturday 19 December. (1/3)
Read the statement in full: https://t.co/HVpdpg8q9H
The new restrictions under Tier Two include:
• A ban on meeting socially indoors with anybody that one does not live with, or who is not in one's support bubble.
• A ban on socialising in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space.
• An 11pm curfew for hospitality and indoor entertainment venues.
• A requirement for hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises to close between 11pm and 5am, and to stop taking orders after 10pm. Premises sell alcohol will be required to provide table service only.
• Continued closure for pubs and bars, unless they are operating as restaurants.
• A requirement that alcohol is only served as part of substantial meal.
Mayor Marvin Rees thanked Bristolians for helping to reduce the number of cases, but urged continued caution.
‘This is very welcome news for many people in our city, particularly as we look towards the end of what has been a very difficult year,’ he said.
‘We must continue to work hard to keep the numbers under control so we don’t go back to where we have been. While I know it has been difficult, our actions have saved lives.
‘Infection rates are lower than they were, but COVID-19 is still spreading in Bristol and we must continue to protect each other. This Christmas and New Year will look very different to last year, but if we all continue doing the best we can to follow guidelines, we can be hopeful of a return to the things we love next year.’
The University of Bristol has also seen a reduction in its reported case numbers, with only two positive confirmed student test results in the seven days up to 16 December.
The next review of the Tiers is due to take place on Wednesday 30 December.
Featured Image: Epigram / Filiz Gurer
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