THE temporary closure of Cambridge market announced yesterday to help reduce the spread of coronavirus in the city will be kept under review.
Cambridge City Council took the decision to close the market, in discussion with public health partners, to avoid attracting people to the city centre.
In spite of the Tier 4 stay at home regulations, large crowds of people were seen gathering in and around the market square and also congregating in nearby areas such as King’s Parade.
The closure is temporary and will be kept under review.
Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre, said: “Public health and reducing the spread of this dangerous virus is our priority and that is behind our decision to temporarily close the market.
“There is a risk of serious overcrowding in the market square and we know that crowded outdoor locations, where people can’t socially distance, help the virus to spread.
“We need to ensure people can maintain a safe two metre distance from one another and when the market square is busy that is not possible.
“The market closure is under constant review and we are looking to reopen it for essential trade as soon as possible.”
Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire, said: “COVID-19 infection rates continue to rise across England, including in Cambridge city where rates are now more than 4 times higher than in early December and we are seeing increasing pressures on our NHS.
“One in three people with the virus will not show any symptoms – which makes it very easy to pass it on to others. We are also conscious that the new strain of the virus is circulating in this area, which is much more easily transmitted making it likely that more people will catch the infection.
“These facts mean that Cambridge city moved into Tier 4 from Boxing Day, and make it essential that the measures that stop the spread of the virus are adopted by everyone.
“People living in Tier 4 areas should stay at home as much as possible, only mix with those we live with all the time, wash or sanitise our hands well and often and stay in well ventilated places.
“If we go out for essential reasons like work, food shopping, education or worship we must keep at least two metres away from anyone we don’t live with and wear a mask where this is required.
“Although the risk of transmission of the infection is lower outside, it is still there and the risk is increased in areas where it is more difficult to avoid or control overcrowding or queuing.
“Stopping this virus is not easy and is not dependent on one factor. It is essential that we use all the opportunities that we have to decrease the risk, which is challenging after many months of living with the pandemic.”
Traders who have not yet applied for Additional Business Support Grants can do so at:
Information about the number of cases in Cambridge is published here: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/cases?areaType=ltla&areaName=Cambridge
The council is also urging people to ask for help if they need it during the Tier 4 stay at home coronavirus restrictions as a range of support is on offer:
- Anyone who needs help or support that could be safely provided by volunteers can contact their local ward group: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/coronavirus-ask-for-help or tel: 01223 457000.
- Details of support for people experiencing financial difficulty, including Test and Trace Support Payments, are here: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/coronavirus-financial-support-for-residents
- People who are unable to pay for food or other necessities, can get help from Cambridge Foodbank or Cambridge Sustainable Food
- People who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless will also be offered support https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/get-help-to-avoid-becoming-homeless and anyone who is concerned about an individual can contact the Cambridge Street Outreach Team.
- For those people whose mental health is being more severely impacted, there is the Lifeline support number 0808 808 2121 which operates daily from 11am to 11pm. Anyone experiencing a mental health crisis can phone the NHS 111 number and ask for Option 2. More information about mental health support is available on the Keep Your Head website https://www.keep-your-head.com/
- Further advice on looking after yourself is available here: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/coronavirus-look-after-yourself
Full details of what Tier 4 means for people living in Cambridge are on the government website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home and for more information on the national rules and tiers visit https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-local-restrictions