28 Oct Coronavirus: Bristol entering ‘Tier 1 plus’ of COVID-19 measures, says city’s mayor | Politics News
Bristol has entered “Tier 1 plus” of coronavirus lockdown measures, according to the city’s mayor.
Marvin Rees said Bristol would be taking a series of further actions amid “rising” rates of COVID-19 infections, although the government dismissed his introduction of a “plus” system to the three existing tiers of localised restrictions.
The city is currently in Tier 1 of the government’s three-tiered system, otherwise known as the “medium” alert level.
Announcing the city’s extra measures on Wednesday, Mr Rees said in a statement: “Within this tier, we are taking targeted actions including the introduction of eight COVID marshals, deeper analytic work to identify rising tides of cases and taking on further powers of our local test and trace service to prevent further spread of the virus and protect our communities.
“These actions are being called Tier 1 plus.
“Any further actions will be based on what we’re seeing locally, and through discussion with our local partners across the city and central government.”
Mr Rees said the city’s leaders had been in discussion with the Department for Health and Social Care and local NHS officials over the last few weeks.
The mayor’s apparent announcement of a further level to the government’s three-tier system prompted some immediate confusion from Bristol’s residents on social media.
The Department of Health and Social Care stressed there were still only three tiers in the government’s system, even though councils have the ability to bring in additional measures.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “There are three Local Covid Alert Levels which are enshrined in law and we are not considering the introduction of a ‘plus’ system.
“Bristol is currently at medium and local leaders have the authority to bring in some additional measures for their area and we welcome local efforts to break chains of transmission.”
When he announced the new three tier system earlier this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “simplifying” local lockdown restrictions.
Darren Jones, the Bristol North West MP, posted on Twitter: “Bristol will stay in tier one but with enhanced enforcement, more Covid marshals and more local control of test and trace (good!).
“Please continue to follow the rule of six, maintain distance and wash hands.”
Earlier on Wednesday, it emerged that the whole of Nottinghamshire will be entering Tier 3 measures on Friday, the highest COVID restrictions, rather than just some parts of the county as had initially been planned.