Cornwall will come out of the nationwide four-week lockdown on 2 December in tier one. Nevertheless, there will still be restrictions to abide by at the end of term, and new measures are being introduced.
There has been some relief in Cornwall over the fact that, emerging from lockdown, the county will be designated as tier one, meaning the minimum restrictions. Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight are the only areas in this tier.
On the other hand, there are fears that Cornwall’s tier one status will attract a large number of visitors and potentially increase transmission of COVID-19.
Government guidance on hand-washing, wearing face coverings, and social distancing still applies.
In summary, tier one restrictions state that:
• People still must not meet in groups of more than six indoors and outdoors, apart from certain situations, such as work and education
• People should work from home as far as possible
• Shops and gyms will be able to reopen, and outdoor sports can resume
• Pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen but will have to stop service at 10pm, although customers will have until 11pm to finish up. Unlike other tiers, pubs in Cornwall will be able to sell alcohol without including a “substantial meal”
• Sports and business events, alongside live performances, can resume with capacity limits
Under the new policies, there will be a temporary nationwide easing of restrictions over Christmas. This includes the creation of Christmas bubbles, where up to three households can meet in certain places in Cornwall.
Cases remain low in Cornwall, and there are “very few” cases among university students and staff. However, students have been urged to remain vigilant and get tested before travelling home, during a “student travel window” from 3-9 December, for reassurance.
A testing centre has opened at Penryn Campus Sports Centre and tests are available now until 8 December.
The new tier system is set to be reviewed on a regular basis, and areas may change tier prior to Christmas.