The council will also introduce eight Covid-19 marshals.
In a press conference today, Mayor Marvin Rees announced a new tier called ‘Tier 1 Plus’ that Bristol would be joining as the number of cases of coronavirus rise in the city. This increase in cases led to questions over whether the city could be placed in Tier 2, stopping households mixing indoors.
However, the Bristol mayor described a new tier which appears not to have been mentioned or implemented anywhere else in the country. He said “we are looking at a Tier 1 plus approach” with “targeted actions” to reduce the spread of the virus. Mr Rees explained that Tier 1 involves three parts: using data to provide messages on how to safely use public spaces, taking on parts of Test and Trace, and ensuring compliance. The mayor also said that this move to a new tier could happen very quickly such as a matter of days.
He said if these new ‘Tier 1 Plus’ measures don’t work then Bristol may risk facing the “inevitable” prospect of Tiers 2 and 3. The mayor added that the national Test and Trace scheme is “failing” and said Bristol City Council will introduce eight Covid-19 marshals as part of a compliance drive to ensure covid-safe behaviour in the area.
The newly-appointed Covid-19 marshals are likely to be present during the weekends and evenings and in some places like Gloucester Road.
Bristol’s director for public health, Christina Gray, who was also present during the press conference, said the Tier 1 Plus concept was a local one, and not a national one. She said it had been discussed by local authorities throughout the South West but Bristol is the first place to try it.
She said that the council has received £3million in outbreak control money from the government, which it will use to fund additional resources for Test and Trace responsibilities, although the testing itself is paid for centrally.
Ms Gray said there will be a two or three-week delay before we see the effect of the interventions, so “we are in a very very critical place, I can’t emphasise that enough”.
“The Tier 1 plus is because we recognise the importance of maintaining people’s livelihoods, and the hospitality sector is the most difficult to manage safely,” she added.
“In order to keep open, we need to drive down infections.”
According to data from King’s College London, it indicates that Bristol’s figure has jumped from 2,314 on October 21, to 4,485 today (October 28).
For more information you can watch the full press conference here.