Forest MP rebels as tier restrictions introduced
By Rob Freeman | 2nd December 2020
Shops across Gloucestershire were reopening their doors today as the county entered updated tier two coronavirus restrictions, despite a rebellion by Conservative MPs against ongoing lockdown measures.
Forest of Dean MP Mark Harper was among the 56 Conservatives who were part of the biggest revolt against the current Government, but it was not enough to prevent measures passing by 291 votes to 78.
Mr Harper said: "I wanted to support the Government, but they have made it impossible for me to do so by not providing sufficient evidence their approach will do more good than harm.
"Based on the fact Government has not provided MPs with the necessary information to take decisions which are draconian, I cannot support the motion.
"In future, Government should treat MPsand the public we serve like adults and show us the evidence."
Gloucestershire is classified as high alert which is for "areas with a higher or rapidly rising level of infections, where some additional restrictions need to be in place".
It will mean a relaxation of some restrictions with non-essential shops, gyms and hairdressers among those businesses able to reopen, while limited number of spectators will be allowed at sports events.
Restaurants will be able to reopen under certain conditions while pubs will be allowed to open only if they serve "substantial meals" and can only serve drinks with meals.
Government regulations for tier two says:
- You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting.
- You must not socialise in a group of more than six people outside.
- Businesses and venues can continue to operate in a Covid-secure manner other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs.
- Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals.
- Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to provide table service only, close from 11pm-5am (except hospitality venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway service areas) and stop taking orders after 10pm.
- Venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.
- Early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm to conclude performances that start before 10pm.
- Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events, spectator sport and business events is permitted, limited to whichever is lower - 50 per cent capacity or 2,000 people outdoors/1,000 people indoors.
- Places of worship remain open but you must not socialise with people from outside of your household or support bubble while you are indoors, unless a legal exemption applies.
- Weddings and funerals can go ahead - 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events.
- Organised outdoor sport and physical activity and exercise classes can continue
- Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing.
- You can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible,
- You must continue to follow tier two rules when you travel to a tier one area. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier three areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment or because of caring responsibilities.You can travel through a tier three area as a part of a longer journey.
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