Ruddington businesses are weighing up the impact of new restrictions which have been set out by the Government today to tackle the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases in Nottinghamshire.
If approved by MPs, the changes announced by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, this evening will see a new, three tier system of local Coronavirus alert levels – in which different parts of England will be placed into ‘medium’, ‘high’ and ‘very high’ categories. These proposals will be voted on tomorrow in Parliament before coming into force on Wednesday. Mr Johnson said that further action is required now to suppress the virus and make sure the NHS isn’t overwhelmed – and also can continue providing essential services such as cancer care.
As of today, October 12th, latest figures show another 49 recorded cases of COVID-19 here in Rushcliffe – making a total of 1,085. Like the City and the rest of Nottinghamshire, we have been placed into the Tier 2 ‘high alert’ category – meaning that there must be no mixing with other households indoors. The rule of six will still apply outdoors, where the risk of the virus spreading is believed to be lower.
Businesses in our village will remain under the same restrictions which are already in place – including face coverings for customers and staff, taking details for ‘Test & Trace’ and table service only at hospitality venues, plus the 10pm curfew for licensed premises. However, some of Ruddington’s pub, café and restaurant owners think the additional ‘social distancing’ rules will be impractical.
Andy Hunt, of The White Horse Inn, says: “It feels like we are back to March with the government happy for us to limp along with restrictions and curfews rather than just closing us and giving us all the support we need. Really? No one can mix in hospitality?? How is that going to work???”
Lesley Wells of The Old Bakehouse Tearoom agrees: “This will affect us too, as most of our regulars come in to meet up – mostly elderly people, who rely on the company. We are worse off than in March, as we will get no funding. I wonder if the powers that be in Nottinghamshire can upgrade us to a Tier 3? I thought we are supposed to be the worst area in the country?!!”
Paul Carver of Jasper’s Café adds: “It’s an ill thought out policy that smacks the hospitality trade in the face. It’s been hard enough trying to get people to wear a simple mask without now having to interrogate every customer who enters the premises to see if they live together. Who is expected to police the rule – the business or the non-existent police? I have four elderly ladies that visit every other day for a catch up and lunch. Am I supposed to now refuse them entry and/or sit them on four separate tables and expect them to shout across the cafe?”
However, Mahbu Noor of The Three Spices restaurant is more upbeat: “Although it is not ideal, I have full faith in the community to work together to get through these difficult times. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued support and encourage everyone to help their local pubs and restaurants. I am confident we will get through these testing times through the unity and strength of our village.”
Hospitality venues with outdoor seating can continue to accommodate socially distanced groups of up to six people from different households in the open air, however the cooler weather is likely to make this option less attractive.
Other types of businesses in Ruddington, plus the library, Parish Church and our local schools will be permitted to continue operating more or less as they are now.
Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or for youth or disability sport.
Villagers can continue to travel to venues or amenities that are open, for work or to access education, but should look to reduce the number of journeys we make where possible. We’re asked to work from home where we can effectively do so.
The Government’s COVID-19 app will show what local alert level applies to each area along with a postcode checker on the government’s website. This will contain updated guidance what these levels mean, especially for those who are vulnerable.
Leader of Rushcliffe Borough Council, Cllr Simon Robinson, says: “It’s vital Rushcliffe residents, in line with all those across Nottinghamshire, play their part to stop the spread of the virus by following the rules set out in this new high tier set out by central government. We know the sacrifices many people have made and continue to make that affect their freedom, business and home life but we must continue to follow these guidelines so we can do what is required to protect us all.”
The Government is expected to give further details over the coming days about what the new restrictions mean and any new laws which may need to be implemented as a result. The restrictions will come into force by this Wednesday, October 14th.
Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Craig Guildford, Chair of the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Local Resilience Forum, adds: “As a partnership we have worked tirelessly across both the city and county to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19. We will continue to work together in ensuring people are heeding the advice, obeying the rules and helping each other. It is imperative that we all do this to keep this virus under control and to prevent unnecessary deaths. Where people continue to flout these rules we will not hesitate to fine people and take any other necessary action.”
He continues: “As a police force we will be working with the Home Office and the National Police Chiefs’ Council to manage any further regulations should any be implemented.”
More information on what these new, Tier 2 restrictions will mean for Ruddington, and for Nottinghamshire as a whole, can be found >>HERE<<.