Camden Leader calls on Government to step up support for communities affected by London’s move to Tier 3
All London boroughs including Camden are moving into tier 3 from December 16th, which is the ‘very high’ level local COVID alert.
Despite the efforts of residents over the past months, which have helped to keep the number of Covid-19 cases in Camden low, the number of people catching the virus across London is now increasing rapidly.
The most recent seven-day new infections rate in Camden rose by 61% compared to the previous week.
The Government has decided to increase restrictions in London to tier 3 from December 16th. This means:
- You can only mix indoors with your household or bubble
- You can meet in a group of up to six in permitted outdoor spaces, such as in parks
- Restaurants and pubs must close except for takeaway and delivery services
- Shops, gyms and personal care services, such as hairdressers, can remain open
These restrictions will significantly impact our businesses as well as residents who are struggling on low incomes and it will be particularly tough for those in the hospitality industry and cultural sector who have worked hard to make their places Covid-19 safe.
The Council is doubling the number of our frontline presence team staff out on our high streets and in our neighbourhoods giving advice to visitors and businesses.
Please support our businesses by following Public Health advice - if shops are busy, wait your turn and maintain social distancing. We can all play our part to make this holiday season as safe as possible.
We are committed to working together with our residents, businesses and communities to try to mitigate the worst impact of Covid-19, and with the Government to ensure that the maximum support is made available to them. Please speak to the Council if you are struggling or are in need of support.
We are also calling on the Government to:
- Increase the support available to people on low income who might have to self-isolate
- Introduce an emergency support package for the hospitality industry and cultural sector
- Support London local government by significantly increasing targeted testing in our communities
“The rise in cases in Camden and London will come as difficult and worrying news for many residents and businesses, especially so soon after a national lockdown.
“This year 7,200 Londoners have died in hospitals from Covid-19 and we must all come together to protect each other and prevent more loss. We are calling on residents to take extra care and follow the public health advice.
“This year’s festive season will be very different for all of us. We want people to enjoy this time of year in the safest way possible so we can protect our loved ones and protect local livelihoods. Though after an incredibly difficult year, this period may be one of the most challenging we have faced.
“New restrictions are necessary to control the rapid growth in cases, but they will be catastrophic for some businesses and self-employed residents. This busy trading period was likely to have been the difference them surviving the pandemic or not. Similarly, theatres - including those in the West End that have just safely reopened - now face ruinous cancellations that will take a devastating toll on a wide networks of supply chains and workers.
“The current package of support from the Government simply does not go far enough to help struggling businesses and livelihoods now hang in the balance. We need to see a compensation scheme for all lost income over this crucial festive period based on last year’s returns - or for new businesses, an estimate based on their peers. At the same time, workers who are required to self-isolate must receive full pay and not just statutory sick pay if we are to prevent people feeling like they have no choice but to work when still infected.
“Lastly, over this festive season you can play your part in keeping your families and loved one’s safe by following the latest public health advice, meeting outside and maintaining social distancing with people outside your household.
“Between 23 and 27 December, the Government has said you can form a ‘Christmas bubble’ made up of a maximum of three households. Please remember you can only be in one Christmas bubble, and once you have chosen your bubble, you cannot change who you are in a bubble with.
“While it might be tempting to take full advantage of the opportunity to see more of your family and friends, the virus has not gone away, and cases are rising at a dangerous rate. We are asking people to think very carefully about how they socialise with their Christmas bubble. If you can, form a smaller bubble or find the safest way to see loved ones – a Boxing Day walk is less risky than a meal inside for instance.
“If you develop symptoms, please self-isolate and get tested. I know Camden residents will continue to look out for each other. There will be many who need a little extra help this winter and if you do, please reach out. Camden is here for you.”
If you are in need of support – including to self-isolate or with your finances or mental health - please get in touch with us by calling 020 7974 4444 (option 9) or visiting www.camden.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Tier three (very high) rules:
- No socialising indoors or outdoors with people outside your support bubble or household unless in a public park, outdoor sports court or playground in which case, follow the ‘rule of 6’
- People who are clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to stay home as much as possible unless exercising in which case, avoid busy areas to minimise the chance of catching the virus
- Shops, gyms, swimming pools and personal care services (such as hairdressing) can stay open
- Bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants must stay closed, except for delivery and takeaway services and other permitted reasons
- Sports fans cannot attend events in stadiums
- Indoor entertainment venues, such as bowling alleys and cinemas, must stay closed
- People are advised not to travel to and from tier three areas
The Public Health advice, which we all must continue to follow, remains:
- Hands: washing your hands thoroughly
- Space: keeping 2 metres apart from people you don’t live with
- Face: wear a face covering in indoor public spaces, unless you’re exempt
- Get Tested: if you develop symptoms, self-isolate and get tested nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119 (requesting a test takes 5-10 minutes and there are plenty of appointments and test kits available)
If you have any worries about booking a test through the NHS, you can book directly with us at camden.gov.uk/bookatest or by calling us on 020 7974 4444 (option 9). We can help you access other support at the same time.
Test appointments are available every day – including over the festive period.
At present there are three test sites available in Camden:
- Ramsay Hall, Maple Street, W1T 5HB (no step-free access)
- 51 Greenwood Place, NW5 1LB (step-free access)
- Kingsgate Community Centre, NW6 2JH