Please see below a letter from Rupert Suckling, the Director of Public Health Doncaster.
Dear Head Teacher
I am writing to you following central government’s latest announcement, which has placed Doncaster, along with the rest of South Yorkshire, in Tier 3 Very High of the revised regional tiered approach to help continue to slow the spread of the virus.
Conditions are the same for all areas in the same tier and tier positions, which are based on five criteria including case numbers across all age groups, cases in those aged over 60, the rate of rise or fall in infections, the percentage of those tested who have the virus and current and projected pressures on the NHS, will be reviewed every 14 days but will remain in place until at least March.
From December 2 all tiers will see the following reopen:
- Essential and non-essential retail, including indoor and outdoor markets and car boot sales
- Personal care and close contact services such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas and beauty services, massage parlours and tanning salons
- Certain leisure and sporting facilities (see Tier 3 specific information below)
- Everyone is also encouraged to work from home where possible.
As Doncaster will be in Tier 3 from December 2, the following restrictions will apply to our residents:
- People must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody they do not live with, or who is not in their support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues
- People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, or a public gardens
- Hospitality settings, such as bars pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery service
- Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close, along with indoor entertainment and tourist venues which includes indoor play centres, casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and cinemas
- Leisure and sports facilities, including gyms, golf courses and swimming pools, may open, but group exercise classes will not go ahead
- Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue
- Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place indoors. There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s
- Places of worship remain open, but people must not attend with or socialise with anyone outside of their household or support bubble while they are there, unless a legal exemption applies
- 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed and 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies.
- People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make and avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. Travel through other areas as part of a longer journey is permitted.
A single-set of UK-wide measures have also been announced for Christmas which, from 23-27 December only, will see:
- Travel restrictions across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and between tiers lifted to provide a window for households to come together.
- Up to three households able to form an exclusive ‘bubble’ to meet at home during this period. When a bubble is formed it is fixed, and must not be changed or extended further at any point.
- Each Christmas bubble allowed to meet at home, at a place of worship or an outdoor public place. However, existing, more restrictive rules on hospitality and meeting in other venues will be maintained throughout this period.
I acknowledge how difficult the last few months have been and must thank you all for everything you have done to help keep the Doncaster community as safe as possible during these challenging times. With the recent news about potential vaccines on the horizon, there is more room for optimism however, this will take time to roll out and we must not become complacent, particularly over the Christmas period.
It is important we all continue to do what we can to reduce infections rates here in Doncaster by following the guidelines and adhering to social distancing rules and wearing a face covering when required to do so.
If you need any further support or guidance, please do get in touch with me or my colleagues within the council who will be more than happy to help. We are here to support you as much as we can. Together, let’s keep doing everything we can to make a difference. Let’s Do it for Doncaster.
Dr Rupert Suckling
Director of Public Health Doncaster