Coronavirus: Bristol moves into Tier 1 Plus - but what does that mean?

Bristol will be moving into Tier 1 plus. Credit: ITV West Country

The Mayor of Bristol has announced the city will be the first place in the UK to move into Covid Alert Level 'Tier 1 plus' with restrictions coming into force in a matter of days.

But, despite the move, the Department of Health has said it is "not considering the introduction of a 'plus' system" - and instead pointed to the three levels "enshrined in law".

The new restrictions will mean tighter enforcement, more local control over test and trace, targeted focus on working adults (specifically those aged 30 - 60) and an introduction of Covid marshals to patrol the city.

The approach has been developed locally and Bristol is the first to use it.

Marvin Rees said if these new measures do not work then Bristol will move into Tiers 2 or 3.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees Credit: ITV West Country

In a statement The Department of Health and Social Care 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."



In a press conference Marvin Rees said going into 'Tier 1 plus' as oppose to Tier 2 is to protect the hospitality sector and people's livelihoods.

He says the new measures will have "targeted actions" to reduce the spread of the virus.

The mayor added there are three parts to the new system: "targeted actions" developed locally to reduce the spread of the virus; an enhanced test and trace capability with the council hoping to take over some parts of the national system; and the introduction of Covid marshals.


WHAT DOES TIER 1 PLUS INVOLVE?

  • Tighter restrictions which are yet to be confirmed

  • More local control over test and trace

  • Targeted focus on working adults (aged 30 - 60)

  • Introduction of Covid marshals to patrol the city


Bristol Harbour Credit: ITV West Country

The council's director of public health, Christina Gray, added: "In order to keep open, we need to drive down infections."

She said the most worrying rise in infections was among adults of working age - the 30 to 60 year age group.

Bristol's numbers are now higher than the English average, at 340.7 per 100,000 people.

The English average is 222.8 per 100,000 people.

340.7

coronavirus cases per 100,00 in Bristol

Bristol is the first place in the UK to move into Tier 1 plus. Credit: ITV West Country

Bristol City Council will be introducing eight Covid marshals, which it received extra money for, to ensure measures are followed. They are due to be working in the city within a week.

The council had received £3 million in outbreak control money from the government. Any additional resources for more contact tracing would have to be paid for within that budget.

The council is also assessing what level of financial support would be needed in order to support the people of Bristol should they move into Tier 2 restrictions.

The mayor added that the situation "moves incredibly quickly" so the council and its partners were having to move quickly too.


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