Latest SRF Press Release:
Published 7th December 2020
Call time on COVID-19 spread by helping hospitality businesses
Suffolk residents are asked to support their local hospitality business and help them stay open and support them in reducing the chance of COVID-19 infections rising.
Rules and guidance on the opening of businesses has changed since Wednesday 2 December, when Suffolk entered Tier 2 of national COVID-19 restrictions.
The Suffolk Resilience Forum is asking both businesses and customers to do their bit by following national guidelines. Public bodies, including licensing teams and the Police, across Suffolk are also working together to help businesses where needed.
Suffolk’s pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants are able to open and those that are registered as food providers can serve meals. Venues that are licensed can serve alcohol, as long as all drinks are served alongside a substantial meal such as "a full breakfast, main lunchtime or evening meal. Customers should also be seated at a table.
You should only meet indoors with those in your household / support bubble and a maximum of six outdoors.
The focus of customers’ visits to bars and pubs must be to have a meal, either with or without alcohol. Under Tier 2 restrictions you should not be going out just for a drink(s).
Please remember that all customers should wear a face covering when entering the venue and keep this on until you are seated at your table.
David Collinson, Chair of the Suffolk Safer Places Cell, part of the Suffolk Resilience Forum, said:
“Businesses are working hard to comply with the law and guidance and public services are ready to help where we can. There are Government guidelines and we urge businesses to look at these and check they have the most updated version.
“But customers can also do their bit to help hospitality businesses stay open and reduce infection. By following the rules residents can help protect themselves, other customers and staff.
“By sticking with it Suffolk we can reduce infection and move away from restrictions in due course.”
Previous Press Releases:
Published 26th November 2020
Current infection rates and pressure on county’s hospitals among reasons for Suffolk entering tier two restrictions
- Goal to get much-missed social freedoms back as quickly as possible
- Suffolk leaders: “We know what we need to do to get Suffolk back on track”
Suffolk’s current COVID infection rates, local hotspots and pressure on hospitals are among the reasons why the county will enter tier two local restrictions on Wednesday 2 December.
Following today’s decision by central Government to place Suffolk in the High Alert tier, public sector organisations in Suffolk have set out their goal to get the county out of local restrictions as quickly as possible. They have also moved to help residents, business owners and employees to understand the restrictions that will apply across the county, and the reasons for them.
Whilst Suffolk has so far seen comparatively lower levels of infection than elsewhere in the region and country, the current infection rate (85 cases per 100,000 people) is more than double what it was when Suffolk entered tier one on 14 October (35 cases per 100,000 people). At the beginning of September, there were just 5 cases per 100,000 people. Parts of Suffolk, especially in Ipswich and Hadleigh, are seeing much higher numbers of positive COVID cases than anticipated. This all puts pressure on Suffolk’s hospitals which need to protect Suffolk’s vulnerable residents whilst still treating non-COVID patients. There were 116 COVID patients in Suffolk hospital beds as at 23 November.
Stuart Keeble, Suffolk’s director of public health, said:
“I fully understand that many people will be disappointed that Suffolk has not emerged from the national restrictions in a lower tier, or indeed no tier at all. I am too. Suffolk has done well at keeping our infection rates lower than many other areas in the country, and for that, I would like to thank people for what they have done.
“The facts facing us today are clear however. With current infection rates and pressure being put in health services, we need to do more of what we have been doing. We need to stick with it.
“We know what we need to do to get Suffolk back on track. Every one of us needs to keep following the rules to stop the spread of COVID-19. We need to ensure our hospitals can continue to care for people who urgently need help, including those without COVID. We need to be responsible today for a better tomorrow.”
Rachel Kearton, Suffolk’s deputy chief constable and chair of the group of public sector organisations leading the fight against COVID-19 in the county, said:
“This week’s news about the success of COVID vaccine trials shows us clearly that there is light at the end of this tunnel, but there is still some way to go.
“Suffolk has been at the forefront of following Government guidance and it is precisely that which has kept infection rates relevantly low for so long.
“Now is not the time to give up and deviate from our course. Now is precisely the time to keep following the rules and stop the spread of COVID-19 so that we can get back to the social freedoms we miss so very much.
From Wednesday 2 December 2020, people in Suffolk will be able to:
- Meet a maximum of six people from other households outdoors
- Go to pubs and bars operating as restaurants with people from your household or support bubble, consuming alcohol but only with a substantial meal
- Go shopping but whilst wearing a mask in indoor public spaces and respecting social distancing rules
- Attend schools, college or university
- Make use of early years childcare
- Go to the gym or leisure centre, whilst following their guidance
- Get a haircut or personal care treatments, whilst following their guidance
- Stay overnight with their household or support bubble
- Attend a wedding, civil partnership or wake of up to 15 guests or funerals of up to 30 mourners
- Attend entertainment and sporting events, whilst following their guidance and capacity limits
- Visit places of worship, whilst following their guidance
- Take part in exercise classes or organised adult sport outdoors
- Visit a loved one in a care or nursing home, if allowed locally and whilst following their guidance
Until the position changes, we will not be able to:
- Meet people from other households or support bubbles indoors
- Visit pubs and bars not serving food
- Stay overnight with people from another household or support bubble
- Exercise indoors with people from another household or support bubble if there is any interaction between them
Everyone is encouraged to work from home and limit their journeys where possible.
Make the right choices this Hallowe’en, don’t give coronavirus the chance to spread
Published 23 Oct 2020
Over Halloween with the number of Covid-19 cases increasing across Suffolk, residents must keep following the guidance to stop the virus spreading.
The Suffolk Resilience Forum is reminding people that we all have a responsibility to keep each other safe this half-term and Hallowe’en - the virus spreads when people get together and are in close contact.
In the last month, the weekly number of cases per 100,000 people in Suffolk has increased by 495%:
- 24 September 2020: 8.01 cases per 100,000 people
- 21 October 2020: 47.68 cases per 100,000 people
The following figures show how cases have been rising considerably across all areas of Suffolk.
Case rate per 100,000 population, as of 22 October:
1 week ago
The guidance we must keep following is to:
- Keep washing your hands with soap and water
- Keep wearing a face covering when required
- Keep 2 metres apart from those you do not live with if you go out
- Keep sticking to the rule of six, indoors and outdoors – and remember that school bubbles do not apply outside school
- Take hand sanitiser if you go out
Stuart Keeble, Director of Public Health Suffolk, said:
“With half-term and Hallowe’en around the corner, we would usually be getting together in each other’s houses, or meeting up to go trick or treating. This year we can still have fun, but we must take a step back and think about what is safe to do. The rules that keep us safe from Covid-19 every day apply just as much at Hallowe’en.
“There is a balance between protecting each other from the spread of the coronavirus, while still letting youngsters enjoy themselves. We must all keep each other safe – remember that younger people can have the virus but not show any symptoms. However, they can still pass it on to older, vulnerable people who can fall seriously ill.
“We are all striving to keep Suffolk out of lockdown measures, and the way we celebrate Hallowe’en – and how we mark forthcoming events like Bonfire Night and Remembrance Sunday – will have an impact on this.”
If you think trick-or-treating is not safe for your family this year, there are other ways you can still enjoy Hallowe’en, whilst keeping everyone safe:
- Be creative: create a pumpkin trail where you live so everyone can join in without knocking on doors
- Be active: get dressed up and take a walk around your neighbourhood to see homes decorated for Hallowe’en
- Be virtual: consider an online party with decorations, fancy dress and themed food. Play Hallowe’en games, bake Hallowe’en treats or tell spooky stories
- Be social: take pictures of your spooky costumes and activities to share on social media
- Be colourful: dress up the outside of your house with Hallowe’en decorations for you and your neighbours to enjoy
- Be treat-wise: buy your own sweets to give to your children so they don’t miss out
- Be bright: if you carve a pumpkin, use a battery-powered light inside it to reduce the risk of fire
We must stop the increase in cases across all parts of Suffolk, and we must do this now.
The Suffolk Resilience Forum will be updating the Stick With It Suffolk campaign in the coming weeks – everyone needs to maintain the efforts shown over the summer, to slow the spread of the virus.