This week the government has introduced three new Covid alert levels: medium, high and very high. This places Bath and North East Somerset on a medium alert level and means the rules we’ve all been adhering to for the past few weeks will remain in place:
- pubs, bars and restaurants must close at 10pm
- social gatherings of more than six people are banned – with some exceptions such as funerals and weddings
Although we remain in the lowest level, the number of people testing positive here is increasing – our Director of Public Health, Bruce Laurence will explain more in his message below.
Today the government has moved a number of areas including London, Essex and York into the high alert level, which shows how quickly things can change.
Across the country cases have risen, partly linked with the return of students to university and that is reflected here. Our Public Health team is working closely with our universities to contain the spread and this week Bath’s Student Community Partnership sent thousands of students living in the city a ‘Protecting our community together’ flyer. It reminds them of the importance of following national guidance and the safety measures put in place by both universities to protect the health of everyone. Any residents with concerns are advised to contact the SCP.
However, if we are to prevent transmission of the virus, we must all continue play our part by following the rule of six, remembering hands, face and space and self-isolating if we develop symptoms or have been in contact with someone who tests positive.
This week we were allocated £74,000 to help us encourage people to adhere to the Covid-19 restrictions and to enforce the rules where necessary. This is particularly important as we head into winter with cases rising and the pressure on our hospitals increasing. We are currently looking at how best to spend the money.
Tomorrow work to install new parklets and bike racks in Kingsmead Square in Bath will be completed. We’ve been working with traders and residents for the past two years to reduce the dominance of vehicles and to create a cleaner, greener public space, rebalanced in favour of pedestrians and cyclists. It’s wonderful to see the European style café culture developing in the square and I’m sure the new facilities will be well used.
This month is Black History Month and I’m very much looking forward to hosting a special Black Lives Matter in B&NES webinar on Monday at 5pm. I’ll be joined by a panel of young people for what I’m sure will be a thought-provoking discussion. If you’d like to join us please register in advance.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. You can also watch a livestream of the webinar on our YouTube channel.