West of England Mayor Tim Bowles is urging residents to follow the latest government guidance to slow the spread of Covid-19 as parts of the region are placed into a high risk (tier 2) or very high risk (tier 3) alert levels.
Following a rise in hospital admissions and high levels of Covid-19 cases across the West of England, the region will move from the national restrictions to high risk alert level (Tier 2) for Bath and North East Somerset, and to very high risk alert level (Tier 3) for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire on Wednesday 2 December, which will mean new restrictions for residents and businesses.
The Mayor is calling on people to re-double their efforts to follow the Government’s guidelines to prevent a further increase in cases.
Regional Mayor Tim Bowles said: “We still have high numbers of cases of the virus across the West of England and it is vital that we all take action to protect lives and livelihoods and take pressure off our NHS.
“I understand that having two levels of alert within the region will be challenging and we are working with public transport operators to clarify what the different restrictions across council areas will mean for our residents and businesses. Through supporting each other, following the guidelines and adapting our behaviours, we can slow the spread of the virus and begin to recover as quickly as possible.
“I appreciate that we are facing economic and personal challenges the likes of which we have never seen before, but it is vital that we listen to the advice from the NHS and the Government.
“The West of England Combined Authority offers support to businesses and individuals across our region. Over the last few months we have supported thousands of businesses with everything from trading online to mental health support and retraining for employees.
“We have an ambitious and robust Regional Recovery Plan, that we have developed with businesses and our communities to secure decent well- paid jobs. The plan builds on work already underway so that we can all have the confidence to emerge strongly from the pandemic and build back better.”
The West England Combined Authority Committee has committed £9.4m additional funding for this work – this is in addition to the £100m investment already committed to businesses and skills over the next four years. This includes business support, skills and employment initiatives.
It builds on the work that the Combined Authority has led during the pandemic including investment in cycling and walking initiatives, including the Joy in the Journey campaign to support residents to walk or cycle, expanding skills programmes such as Future Bright to help residents find employment and support for businesses to adapt and recover.
For more information on support for those affected by the coronavirus situation, including information and advice for businesses from the West of England Growth Hub, please visit: https://www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/support-for-business-through-coronavirus-covid-19/.