COVID-19 alert: Plymouth listed as enhanced response area

Due to a steep rise in cases Plymouth, Devon, Torbay, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, we have been named as an Enhanced Response Area by the Government.

The number of positive COVID-19 case numbers in Plymouth has continued to be higher than the national average over the past few months. At the same time, local hospitals are seeing an increase in the number of Covid-related admissions. Derriford Hospital in Plymouth has declared a ‘critical incident’ due to the pressures on services caused by a number of factors including a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases as well as higher than average emergency department patients.

See Council announcement 

Statement from Derriford Hospital regarding critical incident

What is an enhanced response area?

ERA status builds on the work we have already been doing and means that we will be working with the Government to try and get extra support to deliver vaccinations and testing. Plymouth still open as usual for business – and if we all follow the rules, we'll be able to continue enjoying what the city has to offer. 

Is this a 'local lockdown'?

No.

Are there any new rules, or restrictions on travel?

On Monday 19 July, many of the England’s remaining Covid-19 laws were removed by the government. No new legal restrictions will be introduced as a result of Plymouth being named an area of enhanced support, and there is no new guidance on travel. Get the latest information about what you can and cannot do on GOV.UK.

Do we still have to wear face coverings?

Laws which mandated the need for face coverings in public, indoor settings were removed on Monday 19 July. However, national and local leaders have stressed the importance of wearing a face covering in crowded areas and on public transport, to try and curb transmission of coronavirus. Many businesses still ask customers to wear face coverings.

What will change now Plymouth is an enhanced response area?

We are still working with the Government and Public Health England to determine how to best use the additional help.

How can I play my part?

While legal restrictions were removed on Monday 19 July, the risk from Covid-19 has not disappeared. Covid vaccines have weakened the link between infections and people getting very ill, but with such high case numbers in Plymouth, local hospitals are beginning to feel the strain once again. Everyone over the age of 16, living and working in Plymouth, is strongly encouraged to:

  1. Get vaccinated. If you’ve not had your first dose, visit a walk-in clinic as soon as you can. If you had your first dose more than eight weeks ago, get your second dose as soon as possible. You do not have to wait to be contacted.
  2. Don’t leave the house if you feel unwell.
  3. Take a rapid test often, even if you don’t have symptoms. One in three cases are asymptomatic (don’t have symptoms). You can order lateral flow tests online or collect them from participating pharmacies.
  4. If you develop symptoms, book a PCR Covid test.
  5. Self-isolate if you receive a positive result.
  6. Download the NHS Covid 19 app, check in to venues, and isolate if asked to do so by the app.
  7. Meet outdoors as much as possible. If you meet indoors, ensure it is well-ventilated by opening doors and windows.
  8. Wear a face covering on public transport or in crowded areas.

Which other areas are in this category?

Plymouth, Devon, Torbay, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Why now?

The Department for Health and Social Care regularly look at statistics such as how quickly people are catching the virus, and assess the capacity in the local NHS.

What is the current Covid rate in Plymouth?

See here for the latest statistics

How many people have been vaccinated?

See here for the latest statistics

You can also book your vaccination online.

Can I get help to self-isolate?

The government has introduced a scheme to help people who will struggle financially if they need to self-isolate. Anyone eligible for the scheme will get a £500 payment. The scheme will run until 30 September 2021.  Find out more on the Test and Trace self-isolation payment page.