Residents all over Oxfordshire are being asked to continue to support the fight to #stopthespread of COVID-19 in the wake of tightened national restrictions announced by Central Government.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a series of measures in response to the accelerating number of COVID-19 cases across the country. These include:

  • Pubs, bars and restaurants to close at 10pm and be restricted to table service only
  • Face masks compulsory for bar staff and non-seated customers, shop workers, waiters and taxi drivers
  • People should work from home wherever possible
  • Limit on guests at weddings reduced from 30 to 15
  • Plans to allow fans to return to sporting events paused
  • The “Rule of six” now applies to indoor team sports
  • Fines for not wearing masks or following rules increased to £200 for first offence

In Oxfordshire the number of cases per 100,000 currently stands at 13.2 which means the county stands at green alert status. In Oxford the number of cases is 21.6 per 100,000, which also means a yellow alert status. Elsewhere Cherwell district covering north Oxfordshire is the other area at yellow alert, with 15.3 cases per 100,000.

Oxfordshire Director for Public Health Ansaf Azhar said: “Now is the time for each of us as individuals, neighbours, colleagues and families to take responsibility for our own actions. During the Spring we acted collectively and we drove the number of COVID cases right down from their peak in April.

“There are now slightly different rules for us to follow from central Government – but it is our collective discipline in adhering to those rules that will get us in to a better place as we enter the crucial winter period.

“Part of the reason we have seen a rise in cases is because people began to act as if COVID had gone away. It never had. Some people gave it too much latitude and now it is making a comeback. We all have a part to play in reigning it back in again. We have to seize this opportunity to drive COVID back to the levels we saw in June and July.”

Reminders on testing

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you must isolate for at least 10 days and get a test. Do not wait for a test or test result before self-isolating.
  • The main symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature, a new continuous cough, and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms. If you have at least one of these symptoms, you should book a test by calling 119 or registering online at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
  • If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms, please do not book a test – you could be taking a test away from someone who really needs it. This is increasingly important as we head into Autumn and Winter, when more people will get colds and the flu.
  • If another member of your household has symptoms, you must self-isolate. But you should only get a test if you develop symptoms yourself. Further guidance on self-isolation is available here.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus and have been asked to self-isolate, you should only get a test if you develop symptoms yourself.
  • If you have been abroad and are in quarantine, you should only get a test if you develop symptoms.
  • If you are self-isolating or in quarantine, then a negative test result does not mean you can end isolation early. The virus can take time to develop and so a test early on does not prove that you will not go on to develop the virus – you could still be at risk of spreading the virus to other people.

It is essential that people do not turn up at their local A&E asking for a test.