What are the rules for Buckinghamshire?
As you may well be aware, the government has introduced its new ‘3 tier’ local COVID alert system. Buckinghamshire is currently classified as ‘medium’.
These are the main rules that apply here:
- You cannot socialise in groups of more than six, indoors or outside
- Businesses and venues can remain open as long as they are COVID secure
- Businesses like pubs and restaurants must close at 10pm and must operate table service
- Customers in such venues must wear face coverings (unless exempt), only removing them whilst eating and drinking
- Work from home if you’re able and in agreement with your employer
- Wear a face covering in all places that it’s required by law like shops, unless you are exempt
- When travelling, plan ahead to avoid busy times and routes. Walk and cycle where you can
- Isolate if you or someone you live with develops coronavirus symptoms, or if you have been asked to do so by the NHS Test and Trace system
Everyone should also continue to follow social distancing rules, maintaining a distance of 2 metres/6 feet from anyone you don’t live with.
You can read the full detail about the local COVID alert levels on the government’s website.
Advice for the clinically vulnerable
I know that this is a particularly worrying time for those people who have previously shielded from the virus. The government has changed its approach with regard to people who are extremely clinically vulnerable and has advised that shielding is not needed yet, in spite of the increase in cases nationally. Instead the advice is intended to be less restrictive than the previous shielding programme and the government has advised it will only introduce shielding in the very worst affected local areas. This means people are only required to shield if they receive a letter advising them to do so. Clearly people should use their own judgement if they feel particularly vulnerable and they may wish to take extra personal precautions.
This government advice in part recognises the efforts to make shops and other venues COVID secure and, of course, allows people to make individual choices about how they go about their daily life.
You can check the government’s website for the updated advice to clinically vulnerable people and please also check our own Buckinghamshire Council online support hub to find out where you can access extra help if you need it.
I know I can count on the people of Bucks to make the right choices. No one wants to catch this horrible illness and, just as importantly, we all want to protect our vulnerable friends and neighbours so please let’s all keep going and do everything we can to reduce the infection rate here in Buckinghamshire.
Look after yourselves and each other.
Stay safe and protect Bucks,
Leader of Buckinghamshire Council