Keep up the good work as Oxfordshire moves from national lockdown to tier 2

Residents in Oxfordshire are once again being advised to remain vigilant as the county transitions from national lockdown to tier 2 restrictions.

The latest figures show that all districts showed a fall in cases, with the exception of Oxford city. A total of 207 people tested positive in Oxford in the week ending 27 November. This is the equivalent of a weekly rate of 135.8 per 100,000 compared to 121.3 per 100,000 in the week ending 20 November. In Oxfordshire the overall weekly rate has dropped to 78.8 per 100,000, compared to 96.7 per 100,000 in the week ending 20 November.

Val Messenger, Oxfordshire County Council’s Deputy Director of Public Health, said: “Last week we saw a welcome decline in the county’s figures across all districts. But the slight rise in Oxford City this week goes to show that we can’t take a fall in cases for granted. I would strongly urge people not to relax - the virus is very much still with us.

“With the students at the two universities currently being tested before they return home for the festive period, it is likely the city’s figures will rise again during mid-December. This is to be expected due to the volume of people being tested.

“We would like to thank people for the way they have abided by the national restrictions so effectively and would urge people to continue to keep up the good work. We know that a vaccine is not too far away, but it is not here yet and it’ll be some time before vaccines will start to have a noticeable impact.

“The most important thing we can do now is to abide by the new tier restrictions and continue to take preventative measures. This includes keeping your distance, washing your hands regularly and wearing a face mask, but also making sure you keep rooms well ventilated.”

Local COVID-Secure teams will be out across the county to ensure local businesses abide by the new regulations, such as the 10pm last orders in pubs, bars and restaurants. All businesses and venues must operate in a COVID-secure way

Councils now have additional COVID enforcement powers to enable them to issue notices to businesses that fail to adhere to guidance. These notices will not create any new offences for businesses, but will enable teams to take more decisive action to request that businesses formally comply with COVID-secure measures, and provide them with the means to close these premises where they fail to do so, or quickly where they pose a significant risk to the public.

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