It has been confirmed following a Government review that Hull will remain in Tier 3, the highest level of Coronavirus restrictions.
Strict rules over household mixing remain in place and pubs and restaurants must stay closed for all but takeaway orders. In-line with national guidance, rules will still be relaxed over the Christmas period, allowing up to three households to mix.
Cllr Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council, and Julia Weldon, Director of Public Health, thanked local people for working hard to drive numbers of local cases down, and urged everyone to carefully consider the choices they made over the Christmas period.
Cllr Brady said: “I understand that this news is disappointing for local people and businesses. Tier 3 is the right thing for the city, but it is not easy.
“Ultimately, we remain in the midst of a pandemic and while our local rates have fallen dramatically, we must not let ourselves believe they are low. Public health and safety has to remain our priority and that is why we must keep these tighter restrictions for the time being.
“The effects of Tier 3 and the period of national restrictions are the reason we have been able to get the rate under control and, particularly with planned government easing over the festive period, it would bel irresponsible to ease up now.
“We understand there are people who are affected by this and there is support for individuals and businesses available, we have all the detail on our website, I would urge anyone who needs help to see if you are eligible”.
Julia Weldon, who has also recorded a video message which will be available shortly, said: “We are at a critical point in fighting spread of this virus and we must not become complacent. Every person in Hull has played a part in reducing our cases by following the rules and putting the health and wellbeing of others first.
“Things do look better than they did in the middle of November and I thank all of you for your role in that. But we know it can rise just as quickly, just as it did a month ago and if that happened, our starting point would be much higher as while our rate has reduced, it remains very high.
“The health and safety of everyone, but particularly our most vulnerable has to be the most important factor in our decision-making. There is a very real risk that if we were to relax restrictions now, then see the increased mixing permitted by government over Christmas, that we could see a significant spike in infections in the new year. Those are not just numbers – every case is an individual . It could be you, it could be one of your loved ones. None of us should be willing to take that risk.
“While the restrictions will ease over Christmas, I would also urge all of you to make the safety of others your priority. Just because we are allowed to do something, doesn’t mean it’s the right decision. In every choice you make about how you will use the flexibility the government has offered, think first about who could be put at risk of catching the virus as a result. Not just those you would choose to see, but the people you will cross paths with afterwards.
“This has been a difficult year for all of us and we will all be celebrating differently this year. With the vaccine now beginning to roll out and new tools in the form of enhanced testing, I’m optimistic that there are brighter times for all of us on the horizon and the sacrifices we make now will pay off”.