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30 December 2020
Swindon residents will face additional restrictions with the Borough set to be moved up to the Tier 4 ‘Stay Home’ Alert level by the Government from tomorrow (31 Dec).
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced in the House of Commons this afternoon (30 Dec) that Swindon would join a number of other local authorities in moving up from the current Tier 3 level to the higher Tier 4 from 00.01am on 31 December.
This comes after a significant increase in Swindon’s COVID-19 case rate in recent weeks. Back on 12 December, the Borough’s case rate stood at 107.6 per 100,000 of the population but, as of today (30 Dec), that figure has jumped to 277.7 per 100,000.
Cases are spread largely evenly across the Borough suggesting transmission is taking place across all communities.
Residents are urged to follow the new rules and guidance coming into place to reduce case rates across the Borough and, in turn, protect local health services, including the local hospital, from becoming overwhelmed during the holiday period.
New Tier 4 restrictions will mean people should minimise the time they spend outside their homes and they must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of their household or support bubble.
Residents will also only be able to meet one person from another household outdoors in a public place.
To reduce social contact, the regulations will also require some businesses to close. The full Tier 4 guidance is available here: www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home
Approximately one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising. It is therefore crucial that all people follow the guidance to look after themselves and each other while also reducing the strain on the NHS.
Residents are encouraged to check the Government website and the Council’s website and social media for full details on what is allowed under Tier 4.
Councillor David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “We all have a part to play in the battle against coronavirus and these latest restrictions are designed to minimise our social contact even further to keep ourselves and others safe.
“We need to do all we can to get the virus under control over the next few months while we get the vaccines rolled out to enable us to return to a normal way of life.
“It is going to be hard on all of us, but we must work collectively for each other. I would urge each and every resident to pull out all the stops so we do not overwhelm our NHS services.”
Steve Maddern, Director of Public Health at Swindon Borough Council, said: “Our case rates have almost trebled in the last three weeks and, like many areas, show no signs of slowing which is why the Government has opted to tighten the restrictions.
“Just over the past week alone, we have seen an additional 617 cases and, very sadly, another death. Please make sure you follow the new guidance to the letter and continue to apply ‘Hands. Face. Space.’ at all times.
“We know the Great Western Hospital is experiencing huge pressures on its services and we need to do all we can to ease the burden on our NHS. Do it for yourself and your family. Do it for Swindon. It’s up to all of us.”