The UK Government has confirmed that Oxford City, and the rest of Oxfordshire will be moving to Tier 4 level restrictions from 00:01 on Boxing Day (Saturday 26 December).
The latest COVID-19 data shows that the infection rate is 289 per 100,000 in Oxford – a 58% increase in the past week. Across Oxfordshire overall, the infection rate is 237 per 100,000 – an 86% increase over the past week.
On Saturday 19 December, the Government announced new Tier 4 measures being introduced to try and stop the spread of the new variant of COVID-19 from spreading beyond London and the South East.
What are the tier 4 rules?
- Stay at home, except for permitted reasons. This includes shopping for food and other essentials, exercise, education, childcare, collecting prescriptions, medical appointments, essential work, and to attend a place of worship.
- Everyone who can work from home should do so.
- You cannot meet other people indoors or in a private garden, unless you live with them or they are part of your support bubble.
- You can exercise or meet in a public outdoor place with people you live with or your support bubble (or as part of a childcare bubble), or with one other person at a safe social distance.
- You must not travel to other areas, other than for legally permitted reasons, to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Shops selling non-essential goods and market stalls not selling food must close.
- Cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs must close but they can serve takeaways, click and collect and delivery orders.
- Personal care, hair and beauty salons must close, as should tattoo, massage and spa venues.
- Entertainment venues, indoor attractions and leisure facilities must close.
- Clinically extremely vulnerable people are advised to stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend health appointments. If they cannot work from home, they are advised not to go to work and claim any support where eligible.
Oxford will remain in Tier 2 on Christmas Day.
Under Tier 2 restrictions, you may see a maximum of two other households indoors (your ‘Christmas bubble’) on Christmas Day (25 December) only.
You cannot see anyone from a Tier 4 area, unless they are part of your already existing support bubble.
You should think very carefully about the risks and only form a Christmas bubble if you feel you absolutely need to. Wherever possible, discuss alternatives to meeting up in person.
Testing facilities will also remain open across Oxford. Residents are encouraged to get tested if they think they have symptoms.
Booking is required for all testing sites, and there are plenty of slots available across all the county’s sites. Anyone with symptoms should book on the NHS website or by calling 119.