Local News

New Covid rules for Andover

Boris Johnson’s announcement this afternoon made it clear that we will ‘come out of a national lockdown’ from Wednesday next week, but we will go into a Tier system. However, it is yet to be seen in which Tier the Test Valley will sit.

As part of the government’s post-lockdown plans, they will not be announcing the areas in each of the three tiers until Thursday.

Tiers will be arranged for each region, not for each town or even borough.  Over the past eight months the Test Valley has fared well, however against a regional backdrop which may include the hospitals in Basingstoke and Winchester, perhaps even Southampton, this might have a major impact on the Tier Andover falls within.

Last week the Test Valley borough had 131 new Covid-19 cases.

The Prime Minister has said that parts of this system “will be tougher” , but gyms and shops can reopen. Pubs will also have a slightly relaxed curfew.  He added that local authorities would not be able to negotiate their own restrictions, the tier system would be “uniform across the country”.

Pubs in Andover should be able to open until 11:00pm, although “last orders” must be called at 10:00pm, if we end up in Tier 1.   If we are in Tier 2, each pub MUST serve a ‘substantial meal’ in order to serve alcohol. If we end up in Tier 3, hospitality venues will have to close to indoor customers, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services.

The PM also announced that he would be strengthening enforcement for local authorities, meaning they’ll have new powers to close premises that pose a risk.

Local football matches could be able to resume in Tiers 1 and 2, with limits on attendance.

TIER 1             Rule of six of in place, people must continue to work from home where possible.

TIER 2             Pubs serving meals can open.

TIER 3             Hospitality businesses will close, except those who offer delivery and takeaway services.  Indoor entertainment venues must close.

Today’s announcement although assisting with planning really only served to tell us to wait a further three days.

About the author

David Harber

David Harber is the founder and Managing Director of Love Andover, including the Love Andover Observer newspaper and 95.9FM Andover Radio. He is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and a card carrying member of the Nation Union of Journalists.