Chesterfield, North East Derbyshire and Erewash will enter the ‘high’ COVID local alert level after a surge in coronavirus cases, it has been announced.
Although cases are rising across Derbyshire, cases in the 3 areas remain among the highest in the county.
In Chesterfield the rate of infection is at 118 per 100,000 people. North East Derbyshire is at 149 per 100,000 people and Erewash is at 153 per 100,000.
Speaking in the Commons, Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock MP, announced that Chesterfield, North East Derbyshire and Erewash will be put into tier 2 of the government’s COVID alert system – and will be placed on ‘high’ alert from 12.01am on Saturday 17 October 2020.
The announcement comes after discussions between the government, council leaders and MPs on how to manage the infection rate rise in the 3 districts.
As well as following the continued guidance to wash hands, stay apart and wear a face covering it means:
- you shouldn’t mix indoors with anyone who isn’t in your household or support bubble – whether at home, someone else’s home, pubs, restaurants, hotels or other hospitality venues, leisure venues or shops
- outdoors people should stick to the rule of 6, including children.
- if going on holiday, this should only be with the people they live with or that are in their support bubble
- family and friends can provide informal childcare as part of a childcare bubble – the bubble is limited to 2 households only so that informal childcare is provided by the same carers each time
- only visit care homes in exceptional circumstances
- all businesses, leisure facilities and other places which are allowed to open by law can remain open providing they meet COVID-19 secure guidance
- pubs, bars restaurants and other hospitality venues close at 10pm – drive-through services, click and collect and delivery services can continue after 10pm
- you can take part in sport and physical activity outdoors but organised indoor exercise classes are only permitted if it’s possible to avoid mixing with people you don’t live with or share a support bubble with – there are exceptions for children and people with a disability
Derbyshire’s Director of Public Health Dean Wallace, who is leading the county’s response to the outbreak, urged people to follow the tighter ‘lockdown’ rules.
“We all have a duty to do everything it takes to stop the spread of this highly contagious virus.
“The steep rise in the numbers of cases is deeply concerning, although not surprising given Chesterfield and North East are so close to Sheffield, and Erewash borders Nottinghamshire, which are all currently on ‘high’ alert and under extra restrictions. It’s more important than ever that we all work together to beat this.
“I’m really proud of the way Derbyshire communities have supported each other through this epidemic but this isn’t over – we simply can’t afford to take our eye off the ball.
“I realise that these extra restrictions for these areas will be frustrating but they are also necessary as we’re seeing a lot of community transmission.
“I cannot emphasise enough that from Saturday people from different households should not be mixing indoors, unless it is with people who are in their ‘bubble’ and they should stick to the ‘rule of 6’ when outside.
“I know it’s difficult but I’m asking everyone to summon their famous Derbyshire spirit and play their part to keep themselves, their family, friends and colleagues safe.”
The extra restrictions will be reviewed after 4 weeks.
Council Leader Councillor Barry Lewis added: “We are working closely with the government, and our MPs, and it is clear that we are at a tipping point. With winter approaching it is vital that we get the spread of this virus under control so that we can protect the most vulnerable members of our communities.
“So my message to everyone is: ‘Let’s do this for Derbyshire’.”