Signs that the rate of coronavirus in Norfolk is increasing are urging people and businesses to stick to the Tier 2 ban and prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Concerns that some businesses – and their customers – do not comply with the rules have encouraged an appeal from councils and health officials.
There are also concerns that people are mixing in the interior of the home, which is not permitted under Nearfolk’s Tier 2 restrictions.
Police, the Environmental Health Office and pro-Kovid staff will visit businesses such as pubs and restaurants across Norfolk tomorrow (Friday, December 12) across
Tom McCabe, chairman of the Strategic Co-ordination Group at the Norfolk Resilience Forum, said: “I know many people, businesses and organizations have found it tough over the last few months, but these restrictions are designed to spread the virus.
“The system is there to protect everyone and we must remember that.
“Only by working together can we protect our families and loved ones.”
Mr McCabe said traders unsure about the restrictions should contact the local council.
He said: “Tomorrow, environmental health officers, Covid support staff and nearby police officers will visit different locations in each district to provide additional advice and guidance and to clear their expectations about these restrictions.”
Mr McCabe said enforcement measures were a last resort, but “necessary for those who continue to put people at risk”.
He said most businesses are taking part in them, but there have been some incidents where the incident did not happen.
He said: “None of the businesses we want to close because of the increasing level of infection.
“My plea is ‘let’s do the right thing so that those businesses can stay open’.”
Mr McCabe said there were some rules in county halls and business districts that were not regulated or did not adhere to the spirit of the rules – such as when there were cases of searching for ways to ban ‘adequate food’ rules when selling alcohol.
Between seven days in Norfolk and 4 days in December, there were 99 per 100,000,000 people infected with the virus, up from 94 in the previous week.
Hospitals in Norfolk and Waveny are currently treating 226 people, up from 182 the previous week.
Dr Lewis Smith, Norfolk’s director of public health, said: “The lockdown has brought some benefits to Norfolk’s statistics and they are now back to the level of the previous lockdown.
“This is good progress but we are in a moment for the county where we are moving forward in the fight against the virus.
“I am concerned that people may feel that they are following the rules, but they are following the Tier 1 restrictions, not the Tier 2 restrictions.
“The biggest risk of spreading the infection is mixing within the family and I fear people are meeting in groups of six at home and in shops and restaurants.
“Tier 2’s family can’t mix in restaurants, and pubs and bars must close if not operated as a restaurant.
“We all want to support our local businesses, to comply with the Tier 2 rule, as a rule that is there to keep us all safe.
“We can do our best to help these businesses adhere to the guidelines when we visit, so that they can confidently meet Covid’s guidelines as a business.”
‘Speak too soon’ from high level reviews
The government will review which level Norfolk is under next week, but council officials said it would be too early to say whether the county could move to another level.
Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council, said:
“This is what the government will do on December 16 and we have been able to honor it.
“Having said that, we are holding regular meetings with DHSC (Department of Health and Social Care) officials to make drivers understand this issue.
“In the case of Norfolk, the changes in the overall infection rate over the last few weeks aren’t great, so we’re stuck in that.
“All we can safely say is ‘follow the rules that people have to follow.’ And if we continue to do that, we can make sure we get off Tier 2 as soon as possible.”
Dr Smith said the number had an “initial indication” and the “best” number was stable.
He said: “The analysis of the level that Norfolk will take has clearly been made by the national government, not in our favor to make decisions locally.
“But what we’re making clear is that nationally the analysis is starting now, and will be based on the data we have at the moment.
“I think from this we can all begin to draw our own ideas and conclusions about what that information is telling us, remembering that we will also see some relaxation in the rules around the family during Christmas.”
Great earmouth rate
Great Yarmouth increased the rate from 86 per 100,000 to 126 cases per 100,000.
Dr Smith said: “The number of cases in Great Yarmouth has increased significantly over the past week.
“But when we go to investigate them, the vast majority can be linked to the settings and outbreaks that we are aware of.
“So we’re seeing events in the places we’ve been expecting them, so it’s care homes and schools – places we’re already working with.”
Other Norfolk rates are in parentheses within seven days until December 4, with the previous week:
4,000 per 100,000 rate per week on December (friend’s previous week) is: Brackland: 72 (62); Broadland 102 (125), King’s Lynn and West Norfolk 93 (86); North Norfolk 70 (85); Norwich 122 (122) and South Norfolk 111 (99).
How many outbreaks?
Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during the previous week in care homes and schools.
In two or more cases as defined as such a situation, there were 60 outbreaks in care homes 55 years ago.
There were 34 outbreaks in Norfolk schools, up from 25 the previous week.