I’m sure you’re all aware that Doncaster has now moved into Tier 3, the highest level of restrictions for containing the coronavirus. The borough moved into this category on Saturday 24 October, along with our neighbouring areas of Rotherham, Barnsley and Sheffield.
Unfortunately, the infection rate in Doncaster has continued to rise over the last few weeks and the number of people being treated with coronavirus in Doncaster Royal Infirmary has also increased. In fact, the number of people in hospital has doubled in just one week. This situation has resulted in the strictest measures of Tier 3, VERY HIGH being introduced.
I know the majority of people have been working hard and have made a lot of sacrifices over the last few months but we must keep going and follow the new guidance to the letter to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, to protect the vulnerable and to reduce the risk of local health services becoming overwhelmed.
If we adhere to the guidance and bring the rate of infection down, we may be able to move back down to tier 2. But to achieve this we must pull together and take action now.
You can read the Tier 3 rules and guidance here, but in summary:
- you must not socialise with anybody you do not live with or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events
- you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue
- pubs and bars must close; they can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant, which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal, and they may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal
- schools and universities remain open
- places of worship remain open, but household mixing is not permitted
- weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees; however, wedding receptions are not allowed
- exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors; these will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with; there are exceptions for supervised activities for under-18s, and disability sport
- you should try to avoid travelling outside the very high alert level area you are in or entering a very high alert level area, other than for things like work, education or youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if you are travelling through as part of a longer journey
- you should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if you are resident in a very high alert level area, or avoid staying overnight in a very high alert level area if you are resident elsewhere
And remember the basics: wear a face mask, keep a safe distance from others (2 metres) and wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds.
I would also like to remind you that health services are open so if you do need to seek medical advice, please come forward. Don’t sit at home worrying about your health. There is a range of services available to help you. GP Practices are open to provide the support and treatment that you need. Visit your local Practice website or call them. The way services are provided may have changed in order to keep everyone safe but we are there for you.
Other sources of support and advice include:
- NHS 111 – visit online or call to speak to someone
- Your local pharmacist
- Same Day Health Centre which is open 8am-8pm, 7 days a week
- GP out of hours service
- The Health Bus is on tour round Doncaster until the end of March next year where anyone registered with a Doncaster GP can walk on and speak face to face with a health professional.
- NHS Health at home – useful information on how to easily access NHS services online, from the comfort of your home. You can find out how to contact your GP, order repeat prescriptions and manage your wellbeing and existing conditions – without leaving your home.
Details of all these services in Doncaster are shared on our website and social media channels.
Please, let’s all follow the guidance and stay safe. Let’s do it for Doncaster.