The Government has confirmed that Staffordshire will move to High Alert for COVID-19 from 00:01 on Saturday, October 31.
This means it will be illegal for people to meet socially indoors with another household, unless part of a ‘support bubble’. The new rules apply in both homes and public settings such as pubs and restaurants.
The High Alert status will be reviewed in 14 days.
Alan White, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “Our residents and businesses have made huge efforts to keep our county safe and open, but despite this, cases continue to rise rapidly and we must act quickly to stop the spread of infection even further.
“Nobody wants to see additional restrictions imposed on our families and friends, so we have to curb the rise in cases.
“Please don’t think COVID-19 won’t affect you, your family or your job, because if we don’t turn this situation around and, turn it around quickly, it may well do.
“We need to redouble our efforts, stick to the new rules and stop the spread of infection – this is the best way to remove these restrictions.”
The Government’s three tier alerts are: Medium, High and Very High. The main difference between Medium and High is the additional law on households mixing indoors. The Very High Alert would see even tougher restrictions, including some businesses being forced to close.
The county council is continuing to lobby Government for support for residents and businesses struggling during the pandemic, as well as support for wider efforts by all partners to contain the virus.
Dr Richard Harling, Director of Health and Care, said: “Cases are rising rapidly across the whole of Staffordshire and limiting social contact between households indoors is the best chance now of stopping the spread of infection.
“People need to follow the new laws, but also remember the other key rules on washing your hands regularly, covering your face when needed, keeping your distance and sticking to the rule of six outdoors.”
The new restrictions for the High Alert Level mean:
- You must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them. This includes private homes, and any other indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants.
- You must not meet indoors with people in any other alert level, including those living in a lower alert level
- You may continue to see friends and family you do not live with outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space. When you do so, you must not meet in a group of more than six. The “Rule of Six” includes children of any age
- You can still travel to other areas, but you are advised to limit your trips as much as possible
- You should not visit relatives in care homes unless there are exceptional circumstances
Full details of the guidance can be found here