Kent and Medway been placed in Tier 3 Covid restrictions as the country comes out of ‘lockdown’ on December 2.
The strictest tier has been applied to the county as weekly covid rates for Swale and Thanet are currently highest in the country, with Medway also recording an increasing rate.
Tier allocations will be reviewed every 14 days but the system will be in place until the end of March.
Tier decisions have been based on:
a. Case detection rates in all age groups;
b. Case detection rates in the over 60s;
c. The rate at which cases are rising or falling;
d. Positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests
e. Pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy
A list of tier allocations has been published on the government website. Listing Kent and Medway as Ter 3 it says: “Case rates are high and continuing to rise with large increases in case rates in almost all areas in the last 7 days.
“Some of the highest case rates in the country are currently seen in Kent. Rising case rates in people aged over 60 are a particular concern. Positivity is also increasing in 10 of the 13 lower tier local authorities.
“Kent And Medway STP are reporting hospital admissions are increasing and mutual aid necessary across the county.”
Government dashboard data shows 110 positive tests reported yesterday for Thanet (November 25), making 753 in the seven days to that date. Unfortunately the dip in numbers has not been sustained and the rate is now up 3.9%.
Kent Public Health data shows Thanet is now at 477 cases per 100,000 people (as of November 22), down from 510.8 per 100,000 (as of November 16) Swale is at 530.4 which is also down from 647 on November 16, but both rates are far above the England average of 201.3.
The total number of people in Thanet who have had a confirmed positive test result is 3,538.
There were 18 deaths within 28 days of a positive test for Coronavirus reported for the week to November 25 for Thanet. The total number of people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for Coronavirus as of November 24 was 145. Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate but may not be the primary cause of death.
The tier level restrictions mean the continued closure of pubs (takeaway/delivery allowed), hotels and leisure sites such as cinemas, theatres and soft play centres and a continued ban on indoor socialising.
Kent County Council (KCC) has invited the army to help with the rollout of mass coronavirus testing despite saying last week that military assistance would not be available due to pressures on the service.
The “lateral flow” tests will give out results within 30 minutes and is similar to a pregnancy test.
Around 2,000 soldiers were drafted into Liverpool to deliver tests in a city-wide pilot this month.
KCC’s public health director, Andrew Scott-Clark, warned last Friday that widespread testing would be a “huge logistical exercise” and Kent will need the right infrastructure in place for it to work effectively.
Tier 3: Very High alert
- you must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places (ie a private garden) with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble,
- you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility – this is called the ‘rule of 6’
Hospitality and attractions
- hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
- accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training
- indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close. This includes: indoor play centres and areas, including trampolining parks and soft play, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, amusement arcades and adult gaming centres, laser quests and escape rooms, cinemas, theatres and concert halls, snooker halls
- indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close (indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such attractions can remain open). This includes indoor attractions within: zoos, safari parks, and wildlife reserves, aquariums, visitor attractions at farms, and other animal attractions, model villages, museums, galleries and sculpture parks, botanical gardens, biomes or greenhouses, theme parks, circuses, fairgrounds and funfairs, visitor attractions at film studios, heritage sites such as castles and stately homes, landmarks including observation decks and viewing platforms
Leisure and sport
- leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close
- there should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators
- large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events
- places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble while you are there, unless a legal exemption applies
- weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, 15 people can attend linked commemorative events
- organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place
- organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place indoors. There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s
- 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
- avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey
- for international travel see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list
The stay at home requirement will end. Shops – both essential and non-essential – personal care – including hairdressers -,gyms and the wider leisure sector will be open. Collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume, subject to social distancing. People will no longer be limited to seeing only one other person in outdoor public spaces – the rule of 6 will now apply as it did in the previous set of tiers.
The 10pm curfew for restaurants and bars has been removed. Instead 10pm will be last orders with customers needing to leave the premises by 11pm (in the tiers where they are open).
Education (schools/universities etc) remain open.