Is being in tier 3 a crying shame?
On hearing the news that Northumberland will go into tier 3 when we emerge from lockdown 2, many in the region voiced their frustration and disappointment. The news was perhaps not unexpected, but nevertheless came as a bitter blow to those in the hospitality industry. Shops can open, but pubs and hotels must stay closed, although they can sell takeaway food.
Angie Thompson who owns Angie’s Tav on Queen Street said “I’m totally gutted that we will miss the Christmas season. I’ve spent the last three weeks deep cleaning and putting up Christmas decorations and no-one’s going to get to see them. I’m just trying to keep positive and the sooner this year’s over the better.
Here comes the science…
Was a month’s lockdown long enough? Statistics in Northumberland suggest that lockdown2 did not result in enough of a drop in the number of people contracting Covid.
The Ambler has monitored the numbers for Amble over the last month – NCC compile the figures in electoral wards for some reason, so Amble and Amble West are logged separately. On 4 November, the day before lockdown, Amble had 16 cases confirmed while Amble West had between 0 and 4. By 7 November the combined total was 28.
Since then, the combined figures for Amble have risen steadily. 14 Nov saw numbers drop to 15, but then they climbed again and at the time of writing this, the latest figures (28 Nov) show they were at 32. That was two days after the gov announced we would be going into Tier3.
Amble confirmed cases (Amble and Amble West combined figures)
4 Nov: 16-20
7 Nov: 28
14 Nov: 15
21 Nov: 25
28 Nov: 32
Northumberland County Council’s covid dashboard provides a lot of information, including county-wide numbers per 100k. At the beginning of November Northumberland’s figure was 260.03 per 100k, by mid November it had grown to 283.23 per 100k, and on 28 Nov it had dropped to 178.9 per 100k.
Northumberland confirmed rates per 100k
2 Nov: 261.03
9 Nov: 292.56
16 Nov: 238.23
28 Nov: 178.9
So the figures are mixed – Amble’s cases have doubled during lockdown2, while the county rate per 100k has decreased. Confirmed cases in the North East are still higher than the majority of regions in England, and while they are decreasing, we are yet to do so.
So is it surprising we ended up in a higher tier than when we went into the second lockdown?
The impact on Amble
Of course the impact this is having on our economy is yet to be scientifically logged, the data is still being analysed and numbers crunched. Perhaps we won’t know until the spring, or the end of the next financial year. What we do know is that our family, friends and neighbours with independent businesses, are really struggling. Tier 3 restrictions allow for all shops to reopen, which must have come as a big relief.
Leanne Athey who runs Leanne’s boutique on Queen Street told The Ambler: “We are extremely happy to be able to open again. We have had amazing support from our customers throughout lockdown with online orders and click and collect, which we are extremely grateful for but obviously we would much prefer to be open so we can do trade again in the run up to Christmas.”
But for the hospitality businesses, the tier 3 announcement was heartbreaking for them.
Some pubs and restaurants will be providing takeaways – We have put together a contact list of Amble cafes, restaurants and takeaways businesses, but please check first to see whether they are open.
Some businesses have decided not to open at all just now – Ruth Charlton of The Old Boat House and Fish Shack told us it’s unlikely they will open for takeaway; due to logistics and financial implications should a staff member contract the virus.
Angie’s Tav will still be providing takeaway Sunday lunches. And at the moment they are delivering dressed in Christmas outfits. Angie said “We want to still provide a service. It’s all about pulling together. Let’s hope that all businesses survive and that 2021 is an amazing year for us all.”
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