Tier 4 local restrictions are to be imposed on Coventry, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.
The news comes a matter of weeks after the Government warned that the number of COVID-19 cases in the city were “relatively stable, but rising”.
179 new cases were reported in Coventry on 29 December – a sharp rise, up around 17 per cent, thought to be fuelled by the new variant of the virus, which the city’s Director of Public Health warned “could already be circulating” in Coventry.
On the same date, there were zero deaths and seven hospitalisations at University Hospital Coventry.
The rate of infection per 100,000 of the resident population stands at 251.9. This number has fluctuated in recent days, but has sharply risen since the beginning of December.
In the week to December 9, the percentage of cases caused by the new strain in the West Midlands was believed to be around 11 per cent.
From Thursday, December 31 – New Year’s Eve – the strictest level of local restrictions will apply to Coventry, alongside neighbouring Birmingham, Solihull and Warwickshire.
The new rules under Tier 4
In Tier 4, people must not leave their homes or gardens without a ‘reasonable excuse’, which includes to work or volunteer, for education or childcare, to exercise, to fulfil legal obligations, and to perform essential activities like buying food and medicine.
Meeting people outside of your household socially will be illegal, with the except of support bubbles.
Though, you can still meet one person from a separate household outdoors in a public space, such as a park.
People are advised to continue to work from home if they can.
Non-essential shops and retailers, such as shops selling clothing and electrical goods, car showrooms, and betting shops, must all close, but can still trade via delivery and click-and-collect services.
Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, such as gyms and swimming pools, must also close.
Personal care facilities including hairdressers, beauty and nail salons, and tattoo parlours will close too.
Place of worship, garden centres, outdoor playgrounds and estate agents may remain open, as long as they operate in a Covid-safe way.
NHS services, including GP services and dentists, will remain operational.