The Government has today, Monday 14 December 2020, placed parts of Essex under Tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions.
The districts of Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Castle Point, Chelmsford, Epping Forest, Harlow, Maldon and Rochford will move to Tier 3 at 00.01 on Wednesday 16 December. The neighbouring unitary councils of Southend on Sea and Thurrock will also move in Tier 3.
Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring will remain in Tier 2 at the moment but will be reviewed by the government on Wednesday 16 December.
Moving these parts of the county to Tier 3 comes as a result of a continued rise of infection, with several Essex boroughs and districts now at or over the threshold for Tier 3 restrictions.
Under Tier 3 restrictions, many businesses will need to temporarily close, or change the way they operate. People in this tier must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody that they do not live with, or who is not their support bubble, including private gardens and most outdoor venues.
Hospitality businesses such as bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants will close apart from to offer takeaways, as will accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses. The list of exceptions and exemptions can be found here.
Indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close including, but not limited to, trampolining parks, soft play centres, bowling alleys, skating rinks, cinemas, theatres and concert halls.
Places of worship will remain open, but people must not attend with or socialise with anyone outside of their household or support bubble.
Weddings and funerals can go ahead, but with restrictions. 15 people can attend a wedding ceremony, however, wedding receptions are not allowed. For funerals, 30 people can attend and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events.
Under Tier 3 restrictions, residents are advised to reduce the number of journeys made where possible and avoid travelling outside of the area they live, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities.
Other parts of the county remaining in Tier 2 should continue following the government guidelines here.
For full details of the announcement and the support measures available for businesses in Essex please visit Essex County Council website.